Oral surgeon says in suit that he was injured in high-five with Chicago Bulls mascot
Benny the Bull hurt Naperville dentist's arm during game, claim says
By Michael Higgins | Tribune reporter
10:43 PM CDT, April 21, 2008
Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Fark Google Newsvine Reddit Yahoo Print Reprints Post comment Text size: A Naperville dentist called a flagrant foul on Chicago Bulls' mascot Benny the Bull on Monday, suing the team over a high-five gone awry.
Dr. Don Kalant Sr. alleged he was sitting near courtside on Feb. 12 when he raised his arm to get a high-five from Barry Anderson, who portrays the exuberant mascot in a bright red fuzzy costume.
But Kalant, an oral surgeon, may now wish he had settled for a fist-bump instead.
Instead of merely slapping Kalant's palm, Anderson grabbed his arm as he fell forward, hyperextending Kalant's arm and rupturing his biceps muscle, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
"Benny's flying down the aisle, giving everybody high-fives," Kalant's attorney, Shawn Kasserman, said Monday in a telephone interview. "When he gets to Dr. Kalant, he either inadvertently trips or, as part of the shtick, trips. . . . He grabbed Kalant's arm and fell forward."
Neither Chicago Bulls officials nor Anderson could be reached Monday evening for comment.
Kalant stayed for the rest of the game but later had surgery and could miss as much as four months of work, Kasserman said. Kalant is seeking unspecified damages for medical bills, physical pain and lost earnings. The lawsuit claims Anderson was negligent in either "falling forward while grabbing a fan's hand" or "running out of control" through the crowd.
The Bulls are legally responsible as Anderson's employer, the suit alleged.
Anderson made news in 2006 when, dressed as Benny, he was arrested for allegedly punching an off-duty Cook County sheriff's deputy who tried to stop him from riding a mini-motorcycle through Grant Park. The charges were later dropped.