Each year, more than eight million people engage in paintball. Paintball is a popular game that involves using a paintball gun (or paintball marker) that shoots paint-filled pellets at opponents. The gun uses compressed carbon dioxide to shoot the pellets, which can travel as fast as 300 feet per second (or more than 200 miles per hour).
While paintball is popular among fans, it is widely criticized for how dangerous it can be. The game is supposed to simulate combat and is controversial for its unreasonable risks involved, including death.
It is estimated that approximately 45 out of every 100,000 people that play paintball will sustain some type of injury. From minor bruising to severe eye injuries, paintball has been the focal point of many lawsuits since its inception in 1981.
Eye Injuries – It is estimated that 85% of paintball injuries are eye-related. While players are typically required to wear shatter-proof goggles (at paintball facilities), some players do not wear them and sustain injuries. The most common eye injuries, include:
Bleeding in the eye (Viterous hemorrhages)
Bruising and swelling of the retinas (commotion retina)
These eye injuries often lead to permanent visual deterioration and even complete loss of vision.
After eye injuries, ear injuries are the most common injuries sustained from paintball. If someone is shot at close range with a paintball pellet, severe ear damage can occur. Ear injuries, include:
Ruptured ear drums
Cauliflower ear (Ear cartilage damage)
Partial or permanent hearing loss
Death Caused by Paintball
In 2003, a teenage boy died after being hit in the head with the paintball gun cylinder that was still pressured with carbon dioxide. Then in 2004, a woman was hit in the back of the head by a cylinder that came unscrewed from a paintball gun. Her husband sued the paintball gun manufacturer and won $8 million. Because of these deaths, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning about paintball gun cylinders and how they can detach from the guns.
Legal Claims in Paintball Injury Litigation
Negligence is the most common legal claim involving paintball guns. Negligence occurs when someone does not take the necessary steps to ensure adequate safety. For instance, if you go to a paintball facility and you are not given the necessary safety equipment to wear, you could sue the paintball facility for negligence if you are injured.
Defective product lawsuits are also prevalent in injury lawsuits if you can prove that either the paintball gun, or your protective equipment, was defective, resulting in your injury. For instance, the shatter-proof goggles you purchased for paintball did shatter when they were hit and your eyes were injured.
Though rare, assault and battery charges can be brought against someone who uses a paintball gun to cause harm to another person. If you can prove that your injury was caused by an intentional act of assault, you could sue.
Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured from paintball in any way, contact a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Ingerman & Horwitz specialize in personal injury litigation and know how to get you the compensation that you deserve.