BUENA PARK, California – A year ago, Dustin Wiseman’s honeymoon with his wife Melissa started out as many do with a trip to the beach. However, the South Dakota couple’s honeymoon quickly turned into a nightmare after the next outing to Medieval Times in Buena Park landed him in the hospital.
Wiseman, 37, was seated with his new wife in the front row watching a sword fight at the popular dinner theater show in Buena Park when a metal shard allegedly broke off from a titanium sword and flew into his eye, according to a report by KTLA News. The metal shard allegedly tore his cornea and lens and damaged his retina leaving Wiseman now legally blind in his left eye.
Medieval Times is now facing a $10 million lawsuit filed by the newlywed couple this week alleging the company failed to protect its patrons by not protecting them from being injured during the tournament. The eye injury required three separate surgeries and Wiseman’s losses include those unpaid bills for medical expenses.
The Buena Park dinner theater reportedly never refunded the cost of the Wiseman’s tickets that night, nor did they pay the medical expenses for Wiseman’s injuries as they have denied liability for the incident saying the couple assumed the risk of injury by sitting in the front row, according to a report in the Huffington Post.
Indeed venues engaging in dangerous activities will often print warnings on their tickets about the risk involved in participating or attending a show.
However, the Medieval Times disclaimer on its website does not specifically say customers could be injured during a show, but it does warn those with allergies they may attend at their own risk: “Medieval Times is a live horse show in an enclosed arena. Persons sensitive to horses or with respiratory conditions, allergies or asthma attend at their own risk. Medieval Times uses stroboscopic effects which may be a factor in triggering epileptic seizures.”
Under the assumption of risk doctrine, a defendant such as Medieval Times would not owe a duty of care to Wiseman and therefore there would be no negligence. However, the dangers of the sword fight and jousting show must have been known or appreciated by the plaintiff for the rule to apply and bar any recovery. Additionally, the rule does not apply in cases where there was reckless conduct by the defendant.
“Medieval Times will have to prove to a jury that his customers should have anticipated that they could be seriously injured by watching the tournament, however, the two parties could also negotiate a settlement prior to this case going to court,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm.
Orange County Personal Injury Attorney
For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Seegmiller Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients who have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. Our legal team has also handled hundreds of wrongful death claims for families of victims killed in traffic accidents. Indeed, the personal injury law firm has a proven track record with more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts.
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