Pellet gun injury led to removal of child's eye, suit says

Kelly Holleran Jun. 13, 2012, 2:12am


The guardian of a minor child alleges the child lost her left eye after a boy shot her with a loaded pellet gun.

Kimberly Murphy filed a lawsuit June 7 in Madison County Circuit Court against Edward Tidwell, Princeton Tidwell, Maria Tidwell and Jess Tidwell.

In her complaint, Murphy alleges minor Faith Giffin was playing with friends at 1338 First Street in Cottage Griffins on Feb. 6, 2011. Princeton and Maria Tidwell owned the property, according to the complaint.

While she was socializing with the Tidwell children, Giffin entered a 2011 Ford F360 Camper motor home, the suit states. In the vehicle lay a pellet gun owned by Edward Tidwell, the suit states.

Jess Tidwell, a child, entered the camper, found the pellet gun and pointed it toward Giffin, the complaint says.

"At that time, the gun discharged and a pellet lodged in Faith Giffin's left eye and thereby required the removal of the eye," the suit states.

Because of the incident, Murphy incurred significant medical costs and Giffin lost sight in her left eye, the complaint says.

Murphy names Princeton Tidwell, Edward Tidwell and Maria Tidwell as defendants, saying they failed to secure the pellet gun, failed to educate Jess Tidwell on proper gun handling, failed to warn the children of the existence of a pellet gun and failed to supervise Jess Tidwell while he was using the weapon.

Jess Tidwell negligently pointed the pellet gun at Giffin, released the safety from the pellet gun, handled the pellet gun without proper training and failed to warn Giffin, according to the complaint.

In her complaint, Murphy seeks a judgment of more than $400,000, plus costs.

Lanny Darr of Schrempf, Kelly, Napp and Darr in Alton will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-791.

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