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Shooting Range Hearing Injury

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by talerco, Dec 16, 2020.

  1. talerco

    talerco Law Topic Starter Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Mid August of this year I went to an indoor shooting range for the first time. Not a gun guy.
    They sold us small rubber ear plugs and sent us in the room.
    As soon as we stepped in the room there was what I can only call an explosion that nearly knocked me off my feet. I am not timid or easily knocked off my feet. As I recall everyone had an astonished look. We went to our lane and shot for about 45 minutes. There was never any other noise approaching that one 'shot'.
    When we left I could only hear static. That improved somewhat over the next few days / weeks.
    Long story short I have seen doctors and audiologists and now have permanent, severe hearing loss. Both ears.
    As advised, after waiting 3-4 months for things to 'settle' I was recently fitted with $5000 hearing aids.
    I still cannot discern language on TV.
    My communicating with my ever understanding wife has suffered. I work and have to talk on the phone which I now have a special headset but it is painfully difficult. It would be difficult to express the severe affect this has had on my life.
    I signed the waiver at the link below. Well... The form won't let me link. I think I uploaded it.
    I pretty much signed my life away and apparently voided several California laws.
    I understand that I am responsible for my actions but......is this waiver solid?
    Are there no standards of noise level that this business must enforce? No requirement to warn beyond the waiver. If someone is there with a cannon should they not have different rules?
    I have since read we should have been advised to use full ear muff type ear protection. Does this waiver relieve them of all responsibility?
    I am 70 and the friend I went with is 26 and has no hearing issues but does remember the boom.
    Thanks!
     

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  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The waiver is but one piece of a potentially large puzzle.

    As we age humans begin to manifest a myriad of medical problems, diseases, ailments, and maladies.

    Your problem is proving the event occurred, and caused your massive hearing loss.

    You'll need testimony from physicians, engineers, firearms specialists, ammunition producers, chemists, etc...

    I suggest you find two or three attorneys near you proficient in cases similar to yours. If you know any attorneys ask about attorneys in your state that are equipped to evaluate you, your legal issues, and potential legal remedies.

    I wish you the best.
     
    shadowbunny and hrforme like this.
  3. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    I would say so. That is a very comprehensive waiver. Did you read it before signing it? Were you wearing the ear protection when you entered the range or not? You say they sold them to you but you don't say if you were wearing them at the time of the boom.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not necessarily. It's common knowledge in the insurance industry that a jury can toss a waiver in a heartbeat if there is negligence on the part of the vendor.

    My own experience as a shooter is that rubber plugs provide scant hearing protection.

    Consult a personal injury attorney. No guarantees, of course.
     
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  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    A good post by you. I would wish more of your posts to be like this one. Cheers.
     
  6. talerco

    talerco Law Topic Starter Member

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    Did not read before signing.
    Yes, there are double doors to the shooting room. We inserted the plugs before opening the first one.
     
  7. talerco

    talerco Law Topic Starter Member

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    Did not read before signing.
    Yes, there are double doors to the shooting room. We inserted the plugs before opening the first one.
     
  8. talerco

    talerco Law Topic Starter Member

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    Thank you for the information and support.
    I know several people my age with hearing aids. None with loss as bad as mine.
    I am fortunate to be in very good health.
    My hearing loss is not bad genes or too many Moody Blues concerts(if there is such a thing as too many). It did not have to happen.
    I have contacted a few lawyers and although I don't have high expectations that anything will come of this, it will be another part of my journey.
    Thanks
     
  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I have rarely written the earmuffs when shooting, but I agree they are significantly better.
    I almost always use the small foam plugs and have been comfortable with those. I wonder if your plugs were not fully seated in the ear canal for best protection.

    I recall Marine Corps boot camp when I was 18. The first time I ever fired a. 50 caliber machine gun I forgot my hearing protection. A mistake you only make once, and it always made me wonder how anyone ever heard anything in a war.
     
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  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    As a soldier who spent 4 years in Nam as a Ranger, I never once used earplugs. I fired my weapon regularly, and also was on several artillery firebases as they assaulted enemy positions.

    My dad served 4 years in WWII, many of those as an artillery officer, he didn't wear ear plugs. His unit was a 155 battery. Those things make a very loud noise.

    Neither of us suffered a hearing loss.

    I can't explain it.

    I don't try.

    I only know the last thing I worried about when I had to fire my weapon was my hearing.
     
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  11. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I doubt I would wear plugs in the field either, but for training they are automatic.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Not in my day, mate.
    We fired our muzzle loaders without benefit of ear protection.

    As a working road deputy, I also bet if your duty called for you to use your weapon, you'd do it without wasting time putting in earplugs. :D

    You'd perform your law enforcement duties flawlessly as you do what is required to take down the lawless "perp".
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    There's a bit of difference from firing in an indoor range than being out in the open. I have to say there have been times I've started through the door of the range with the protectors still around my neck, but I don't blame the range for my stupid mistake. My AR-15 (similar to the M-16 from my Army days) is not quite as loud comparitively as some of the large-caliber pistols, either.
     

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