GALVESTON – Claiming she lost her hearing after a trip to a League City shooting range last year, Hitchcock resident Mary Buchan is pursuing legal action.
Buchan's lawsuit against The Arms Room LLC asserts the weapons retailer failed to assure the plaintiff sufficient hearing protection during her visit on July 21, 2011.
The lawsuit was filed March 19 in Galveston County District Court.
The suit shows Bachan and an acquaintance went to the defendant's premises so that the friend, an elderly woman, could buy a handgun for her own protection.
Upon learning of the women's unfamiliarity with firearms, an Arms Room employee handed them a loaded weapon with the safety on and headphones and pointed the costumers toward the firing range.
Buchan had her pair of headphones over her ears as she and her friend entered the gallery.
The women then found their assigned place but the noise of shots fired in the neighboring lane kept increasing.
According to the suit, the plaintiff "could feel the vibration of each shot ringing through her ears more than the shot before."
"The plaintiff reached atop her head for the headphones to push them inward against her face in an attempt to muffle the loudness of the weapon being fired," it states.
"The plaintiff's attempts to dampen the noise were not successful at all, which surprised the plaintiff."
Ten minutes passed before the women exited the range.
They returned the gun to an attendant at the front counter and expressed that "the noise level inside the range was just too much."
Buchan alleges the ringing in her ears remained days after her visit, adding she "was having an extremely difficult time hearing the world around her."
"As a result of her trip to the gun range, the plaintiff sustained permanent hearing loss from the excessive noise level of the gun shots within the concrete walls," the suit says.
The plaintiff later discovered that the ear muffs used at the gun range are electronic and have a volume control that must be turned down before any loud noises commenced.
None of the employees explained that part about the audio equipment, the suit claims.
Buchan insists the medical treatment she sought in light of her altered hearing was unsuccessful.
She consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Attorney Michael L. Aldous of Santa Fe is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.
Case No. 12-cv-499