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Mis-Labeled Paintball Mask Leads to Vision Loss in Young Boy


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3/20/2014
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A young boy purchased a new paintball facemask that was advertised as having a coating that would prevent fogging and condensate to form on the plastic face shield so that the person wearing the mask would be able to continuously see through the shield.  While playing, the boy's mask fogged up and he lifted the plastic face shield to wipe it clean.  A paintball struck him in the eye at that moment when the shield was lifted.  He underwent several operations but only regained 20% vision in the injured eye.  

An expert conducted several experiments with the mask used by the victim, and another mask produced by the same manufacturer that claimed that model had a special coating that was "non-fogging."  The study showed that the boy's mask produced condensate that did not evaporate, while the test model produced condensate that evaporated quickly.  Further testing showed that the boy's mask only contained a 0.5 mils of the coating on the plastic surface, while the model mask had 1.5 mils of the coating.  To produce the claimed anti-fogging effect, 1.3-1.6 mils of the coating is required.  A lawsuit produced a favorable result for the victim; the parties settled before trial, but expert testimony showed that the boy's mask was defective and liability was on the manufacturer as this defect was the proximate cause of the injury.



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