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Judge: Child Brain Injury Victim Shot With Arrow 7 Years Ago Can Proceed With Product Liability Lawsuit

It’s been seven years since a New Jersey girl was shot accidentally in her head with an metal arrow by a young boy, causing her to suffer a massive stroke and aneurysm that almost killed her. Now, according to, a judge has allowed that discovery for her claim for product liability – including punitive damages – against the distributor of that arrow set may proceed. However, the judge denied discovery in the claim against the boy’s father, leaving the sporting goods store as the only defendant. 

According to news reports of the case, the girl and her twin sister were at a friend’s house one day in July 2010 when she wandered in front of a 9-year-old boy who was practicing archery with a compound bow in the same yard. The arrow, which can only be purchased by an adult with a hunting license, struck the girl between her nose and right eye. It tore through her cerebral artery, lodging into the left temporal lobe in the middle of her brain.

The arrow was reportedly purchased by the boy’s father at a sporting goods store in New Jersey. Under state law, it’s illegal to shoot any metal-tipped arrow without a hunting license – and those are only available in that state when a child turns 10. Further, anyone who sells youth-sized or metal-tipped arrows is supposed to inquire as to whether the user has a child’s hunting license.

Florida also has restrictions when it comes to bows and arrows, as spelled out by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  The law includes time restrictions (only to be used a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset. The state also prohibits the use of explosive arrowheads or drug-delivering arrowheads, and bows have to have at least a 35-pound draw weight. F.S. 784.021 makes it an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon to intentionally harm someone with a bow and arrow, and courts have held (in Peevey v. Florida) that simply aiming a bow and arrow at another person is grounds for prosecuting someone on charges of aggravated assault.

In this case, plaintiff’s attorney noted all the store had to do was ask for the child’s hunting license before selling this bow and arrow to the boy’s father. The injury lawyer reportedly hired a private investigator to buy the same style of arrow at the same store for the investigator’s 12-year-old son, who did not have a child’s hunting license. The store reportedly sold the arrow to the man without showing a hunting license.

Plaintiff’s lawyer noted this has been extremely difficult for both families. The father of the boy had been close friends with the girl’s parents. Beyond that, the girl’s twin sister witnessed the awful incident.

Her attorney said a preliminary estimate of the girl’s life care plan is somewhere around $15 million. Although she is doing better than expected now, her family notes doctors initially didn’t believe she would survive, and her injuries have resulted in lifelong cognitive, mental and emotional damages.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Years after girl was shot in head with arrow, lawsuit moves forward, Aug. 16, 2016, By Kate Mishkin,

More Blog Entries:

Piazza v. Kellim – Nightclub Shooting Liability Lawsuit, Aug. 25, 2016, Fort Lauderdale Child Injury Lawyer Blog

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