Brained in Mock Medieval Combat, Man Says


     TULSA, Okla. (CN) – A man says in court that a sore loser in a mock medieval battle broke his skull and the battle organizer shares the blame.



     Justin Gilbert sued Martial Enactment League Enabling Expression (MELEE) and Paul Orpin, in Tulsa County Court.
     Gilbert claims he was hospitalized for days after he “defeated Paul according to the rules, but Paul refused to disengage from battling plaintiff, and MELEE’s field judges did not ensure Paul complied with the rules in this regard and leave the field of play. As a result, Paul continued to attack plaintiff.
     “Finally, out of frustration, Paul lost his temper and became irate, and thrust the edge of his real wooden shield into plaintiff’s skull, shattering his skull and causing a depression in his skull that entered his sinus cavity.
     “As a result of the injuries, plaintiff was rushed to the St. Francis Hospital emergency room.
     “Upon arriving at the emergency room, plaintiff underwent treatments for postconcussive symptoms such as uncontrollable vomiting and severe pain. Additionally, a CAT scan taken at the time revealed a severe fracture in plaintiff’s skull with a noticeable depression into his sinus cavity.”
     MELEE, says Gilbert, “is an organization that sponsors and organizes live-action mock medieval battles for its members.
     “MELEE is responsible for providing a safe environment for the mock battles it sponsors.
     “In order to ensure a safe environment for the events it sponsors, MELEE instituted the MELEE combat rules and laws of conduct.
     “Among other things, the rules prohibit malicious aggressive conduct and using a real weapon during an event. Further, the rules require MELEE to inspect the participants’ weapons, shields and armor.”
     He claims that Orpin that day “was using a shield made of wood with insufficient padding in violation of the rules.”
     “During the pre-battle inspection of weapons, armor and shields, MELEE’s field judges negligently failed to inspect or failed to properly inspect Paul’s shield to see if it complied with the rules.”
     Gilbert claims that “Paul was known to MELEE for being someone that previously had broken the rules, specifically bringing a real weapon to the mock battle, and injuring other participants.
     “The rules require that all items used in the mock battles must be made of softer materials, such as PVC pipe, and/or be protected with foam and other materials to prevent serious injury.”
     Gilbert seeks punitive damages for negligence and assault and battery.
     He is represented by Joel Bulleigh, of Broken Arrow.

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