In a recent decision, Peterson v. Flare Fittings, Inc., Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal examined the liability of various parties for an injury that occurred at a paintball tournament. Although the plaintiff in this case was a competitor in the competition, the injury at issue had nothing to do with flying paint.
The injury at issue in this case occurred on November 8, 2006. On that day, the plaintiff arrived at a Disney-owned facility that was serving as the venue for a paintball event being hosted by Paintball Sports Promotions, LLC. In addition to a paintball tournament, the event hosted a trade show for the advertising and sale of paintball-related goods. Although the plaintiff arrived on November 8, he was not set to compete until the 10th. While venturing through the vendor area on the 8th, the plaintiff alleges that he was struck in the head by a balloon, which he described as 10 feet in diameter and attached to a tree beside a tent that was being operated by either Flare Fittings, Inc. or Crossfire Paintball, Inc. The plaintiff acknowledged that he did not know what caused the balloon, which had been flying about 70 to 100 feet above the ground, to fall, but he claimed that the impact of the balloon knocked him down, dazed him, and left him in pain. The incident was reported to a manager at Disney, and the plaintiff alleges that the manager told him that Disney would cover his medical costs. The plaintiff sought treatment the same day. After his x-ray came back negative, the plaintiff left the hospital with prescriptions.