Teen shot with friend’s air gun loses sight in one eye

$1.39 million settlement

By: Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff March 27, 2014

A 15-year-old boy was shot with an air-powered pellet gun while at a friend's house. The pellet lodged in his eye, causing permanent vision loss. One of the host boy's parents was home at the time of the shooting.

The first claim in the matter was brought against the homeowner for negligently entrusting his teenage son with complete control and discretion over four air-powered pellet guns.

The second claim was brought against the homeowner's liability carrier for the shooter, who was also a guest at the house that day, under the theory of negligent use of a firearm.

The plaintiff argued that the homeowner negligently entrusted his son with loaded pellet guns without supervision or adequate safeguards to ensure that they would not get into the hands of those not properly trained to handle such weapons.

The plaintiff also argued that the shooter's homeowner's policy applied, considering the guns were replicas designed to approximate authentic handguns, including a .357 Magnum, and to point and fire at another's face constituted negligence.

Action: Negligence & tort
Injuries alleged: Permanent loss of sight in one eye
Amount: $1.39 million