Gun range claims woman's hearing loss was pre-existing condition

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 24, 2012, 8:11am

C. Scott Kinzel of Plavnicky Kinzel & Makowski LLP in Houston

GALVESTON - A League City firearms retailer and shooting range submitted its formal response to a Hitchcock woman's lawsuit against it.

Mary Buchan is suing The Arms Room LLC after she supposedly lost her hearing from a 2011 trip to the defendant's facilities.

Buchan accuses the defendant of failing to provide sufficient hearing protection during her visit on July 21, 2011, alleging she was not told that the ear muffs lent to her are electronic with a required volume setting.

According to court papers filed March 19 in Galveston County District Court, "the plaintiff sustained permanent hearing loss from the excessive noise level of the gun shots within the concrete walls" and the medical treatment she subsequently sought was unsuccessful.

The Arms Room's original answer, submitted April 4, contends Buchan executed an agreement in which she released it "from any liability for acts of omissions, for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages whatsoever resulting from or related to the use or misuse of firearms on the premises."

The nine-page document adds that Buchan's reduced hearing is a pre-existing condition.

It further asserts the complainant's apparent injuries were "legally" caused by the manufacturer of the hearing protection device at the focus of the allegations.

The respondent reserves its right to amend the answer and demands a jury trial.

Plavnicky Kinzel & Makowski LLP is representing The Arms Room.

Case No. 12-cv-499

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