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Old April 2nd, 2015, 13:23   #1
TNT Airsoft
 
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Liability issue?

I'm relatively new and wondered if this is something that has come up before or if not, if there are any lawyers in the group that may shed some light. I'm not really looking for laymen's opinions, because they won't mean anything in court.

I shoot bio-BBs only just like many players. I also know that bio-BBs fragment or fracture on impact more easily than regular BBs. If I knowingly shoot bio-BBs at someone wearing mesh goggles and they are injured (possibly blinded and/or horribly disfigured) and they decide to sue me, am I liable?

Has this come up in a court case before? Would it be thrown out because the victim knew the risks (assuming I could convince the court he did know the risks)?
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 13:50   #2
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Preface: I am not a lawyer.

Typically mesh goggles are prohibited in airsoft fields in Canada (because of aforementioned reasons mentioned above) but not so much in the US. There is an implied understanding and consent to the risks and injuries associated with said risks when participating in any sport. In your case specifically, you are liable if the pursuant party could prove on a balance of probabilities that you had intentionally or unintentionally intended malicious harm by using defective or brittle bb's.

There would then be a viable defense wherein the fault lies with the pursuant party for failing to equip suitable eye protection permitted by the field owner.

tl;dr don't wear mesh goggles if you value eyesight.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 14:24   #3
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If you are playing private games in your buddies backyard, you can easily get yourself sued.

If you are playing in a field that has waivers and insurance you have more protection, and probably things like mesh masks and bio-bb's are banned.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 14:36   #4
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There are several major airsoft fields in British Columbia that are Bio BB only.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 14:50   #5
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Most of the fields here in Alberta that I've played at are also bio only.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 15:01   #6
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All fields in BC are bio only, most fields in Mb and Ab as well.
Bio's are becoming the standard goto.
That being said, every should know they exists and are being used, and it's ultimately up to the USER to effectively protect THEMSELVES.
All fields generally require Z87.1+ eyewear, and no mesh in the world is capable of being rated Z87.1+

Teeth get broken and it's never the shooter's fault. It's always the fault of the person being shot for not having appropriate safety gear.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 15:34   #7
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A lot of the fields around here are bio only... and a lot of players around here wear mesh. The short story is, this kind of scenario doesn't happen. There's a few reasons for this, the first is that by the time the BB reaches the mesh goggle, it doesn't have enough energy left to shatter. The second is that good quality bio BBs (bastards, madbull PLA, etc.) are not any more likely to shatter than quality regular BBs.

Also, a player I know well around here happened to be shot in the mesh at very close range by a cheap bio BB that shattered and although it surprised him, he received no damage whatsoever and described the even as receiving a bit of sand in the face at low velocity. This is because the total energy of the BB is split between each shard, and in turn those shards are really small and weight almost nothing, thus they are really unlikely to cause damage even to your eye. Also, most of the shards won't even go through the mesh.

The only real danger would be in CQB games with no MED, but then again, no one uses mesh inside because you can't see anything in darker areas.

So there's nothing to be scared about, if mesh goggles were that terrible, we'd constantly keep hearing about people being hurt by shattered BBs, while in reality, you will probably get hit by lightning once or twice and win the lottery before that happens.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 18:53   #8
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The dangerous aspect of mesh isn't BB shrapnel (although it's POSSIBLE, it happens less than teeth getting shot out), it's that die punched/flat type mesh.
The inherent weakness in having a flat piece of crap metal with a butt load of holes in it means a BB could actually punch right through it at normal muzzle energies.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 19:03   #9
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The dangerous aspect of mesh isn't BB shrapnel (although it's POSSIBLE, it happens less than teeth getting shot out), it's that die punched/flat type mesh.
The inherent weakness in having a flat piece of crap metal with a butt load of holes in it means a BB could actually punch right through it at normal muzzle energies.
This, ive actually taken a shot to my lower face mesh, and it went straight through and left a mark on my cheek. The mesh wires actually got pushed apart. This was in cqb conditions tho.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 19:34   #10
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Here is an example.
The field i play at most allows us to use mesh. They also have a no bio rule. So if you showed up there shooting bio's knowing they are not to be used id likely have a case against you.
as a general rule you cant use mesh at most fields. any place that uses bios or either should not use mesh. if you use mesh at a field u have to clearly have a no bio rule. And even when not using bios there is still a risk of crappy bb's or even good ones that can fragment it is a risk you take. I often use mesh when sniping but if im runnin and gunnin i stick to full seal just due to the high volume of fire/greater risk.
also should add the mesh i use has been tested with 500fps point blank with a .20 And a .36 with no damage. It is a woven steel mesh, got em in 2009 i think on a team group buy and have had no issues other than the odd bb "dust" when getting hit in the goggles.
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Last edited by Hectic; April 2nd, 2015 at 19:37..
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 00:44   #11
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It's typically just the very low quality and heavyweight "bio" BBs (not ACTUALLY bio, but laced with heavy metals to weigh them down) that fragment on impacts as well.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 01:45   #12
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I can confirm that most field here in BC do use Bio's only as of 2013/2014 season's (not by choice either but rather forced too). I also know that most fields here in BC out right ban the use of wire mess goggles on the proven/tested fact that non-bio's have shattered on them, thus causing for major concern when using Bio's which do shatter becomes as a safety issue.
It had been a safety concern at the LMAG club in the past and was addressed since we made the switch to Bio BB's, plus since the field's we use do not allow Mesh goggles on their field's, except BigFoot Games in Mission (not sure if that is current), it hasn't been a issue.
Why would want to risk your eye's when there is a huge market of eye wear available for Airsoft.
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