Man who shot himself in the eye while paintballing sues in High Court

Daniel Nolan (25) told the High Court he was left holding his eye and was afraid to take his hand away in case his eye dropped out after the accident
Man who shot himself in the eye while paintballing sues in High Court

A man who shot himself in the eye with a paintball gun after he has alleged, he was instructed to take off protective goggles which were fogging up has launched a High Court action.

Daniel Nolan (25) told the High Court he was left holding his eye and was afraid to take his hand away in case his eye dropped out after the accident three years ago.

"I thought my eye was gone, that it would fall out if I took away my hand," he told Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan.

Mr Nolan, who the court heard lost the central vision in his left eye, has sued the paintball operators claiming a teenage supervisor of the paintball game instructed him to remove his protective goggles to clean them because they were fogging up.

"I wiped my goggles and picked up the gun. It fired into my face. I shot myself in the eyes. I don’t know how the gun went off," he said. He added: "I shot myself in the eye, that is not why we are here today."

Conflict over facts

Opening the case Richard Kean SC instructed by David Harrington solicitor told the court there was a huge conflict of fact in the case. He told the judge she will have to “look in eyes” to determine where the truth lies.

He said it was their case that Mr Nolan was told by a 16-year-old supervisor to remove his mask to clean his goggles. Counsel said as Mr Nolan had blood coming from his eye it is their case the supervisor allegedly told him not to say he was allegedly told to take off the mask.

The judge was told that the allegation is vehemently denied.

Mr Nolan, Rafters Road, Drimnagh, Dublin has sued Special Ops Paintball Ltd, Kilcroney Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow as a result of the accident on April 29th, 2018 at its Roundwood, Co Wicklow premises.

Mr Nolan says he was attending a paintball session with work colleagues in Roundwood when, it is claimed, he sustained a significant eye injury.

He has claimed the protective eyewear allegedly constantly fogged up, preventing him being able to see and there was alleged failure to take the paintball gun from him when the instructor allegedly directed him to remove his goggles and wipe them.

Claims denied

The claims are denied, and it is contended by the paintball company that Mr Nolan signed a disclaimer undertaking to wear his protective eyewear at all times in the play area.

It is further contended Mr Nolan allegedly removed his protective eyewear in contravention of the extensive and repeated safety instructions given to him, and he was the author of his own misfortune.

In evidence Mr Nolan said he had gone paintballing with work colleagues. He said they were just five minutes into the game when he said his goggles were fogging up and he was finding it hard to see.

He said the game was stopped and he and his team were brought to a hut where he claimed he was directed to remove the goggles to clean them. After the accident he said the supervisor allegedly suggested to him to say he had the mask on the whole time and the bullet slipped under it.

Cross-examined by Counsel for the paintball company, Patricia Dillon SC, Mr Nolan said he had one shot of vodka about one and a half hours before the paintball game.

He accepted had he taken a minute or two to put on his protective gear after wiping the goggles, the accident would not have happened.

The case before Ms Justice O’Regan continues.

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