Shooter claims he suffered ear loss after visiting Belleville Indoor Shooting Range

Kelly Holleran May 31, 2012, 2:54am


An Illinois resident has filed suit against a shooting range, alleging he suffered from diminished hearing after the range failed to provide him with adequate protection.

Babatunde Owoseni claims he visited defendant Metorking doing business as Belleville Indoor Shooting Range to practice shooting on July 20, 2010. While at Belleville Indoor Shooting Range, Owoseni rented ear protection, according to the complaint filed May 8 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

He then proceeded to lane 4 or 5 to practice shooting with his Smith and Wesson .45 caliber, the suit states. While Owoseni was practicing, another customer in lane one began using a large caliber gun, the complaint says.

"That while in shooting lane 4 or 5, Plaintiff heard a loud concussion sound coming from lane 1," the suit states. "The loud sound came from the large caliber gun the shooter in lane 1 was shooting."

Because of the loud noise, Owoseni claims he was forced to hold his head, then began hearing ringing in his ears. Once the ringing started, Owoseni left the shooting range, according to the complaint.

Due to the incident, Owoseni incurred more than $1,000 in medical costs, has permanent hearing loss in his right ear and will be forced to wear a hearing aid for the remainder of his life, the suit states. He has also sustained an impaired earning capacity, the complaint says.

Owoseni blames Belleville Indoor Shooting Range for contributing to his injuries, saying it negligently failed to provide adequate ear protection, failed to provide adequate sound proofing, failed to keep the shooting range free from defects and failed to warn Owoseni it was allowing another patron to fire a loud gun.

In his complaint, Owoseni is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

John D. Anderson, Nicole Burlison Knepper and Andrew S. Martin of Anderson and Associates in St. Louis will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-240.

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