Published on:

Man Sues Medieval Times over Blindness Caused During Jousting Show

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.


That’s exactly what happened to a man who has sued Medieval Times – a feudal themed dinner theater – saying his left eye was irreparably injured when a sliver of metal flew toward him during one of the show’s trademark swordfights.

The Orange County Register reports that, in a lawsuit filed in county court, attorneys on behalf of the man and his wife say he is now legally blind in his left eye. According to the lawsuit, the couple was sitting near the Medieval Times arena during a show and a tiny shard of metal flew off a knight’s sword and struck him in the eye.

Medieval Times is a themed dinner adventure featuring staged medieval-style games, sword-fighting, and jousting, performed by a cast of 75 actors and 20 horses. Each of the 9 locations – including a site in the Chicagoland area of Illinois – is housed in a replica 11th-century castle, and visitors are treated to a medieval banquet and competition between Knights.

The Orange County Register detailed the fact that the incident in question took place in April of 2011; the couple had just spent the first day of their honeymoon on the beach and decided to go see a show at Medieval Times on a whim. They paid extra for VIP seating, which put them closer to the arena where knights on horseback joust and swordfights between knights are a large part of the show. During a part of one of those fights, a small shard of metal flew off one of the swords and struck the man. The knights’ swords are designed to spark when they strike for dramatic effect. For that to happen, metal has to chip off the swords.

The man’s medical records showed that the metal shard tore through the retina in the man’s left eye, which necessitated surgery the next day. The couple also cut short the honeymoon to return home for further treatment.

This lawsuit provides a prime example of premises liability law. Under Illinois law, premises liability law is a significant branch of Illinois personal injury law that allows victims to recover after they have been injured on another person’s property, and the negligence of the property owner was the cause of that harm. In order to apply to a set of circumstances, premises liability law requires a number of factors to be satisfied: the defendant must be the owner, controller, or possessor of the land, or “premises” – in this case, the defendants would be proprietors of the Medieval Times establishment. Additionally, the person or persons on the land of another must be injured by negligence or a different wrongful act; in this particular situation, the couple will have to show that Medieval Times was somehow negligent in allowing the piece of metal to fly into the audience.

Our Illinois personal injury lawyers have handled numerous cases and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the families of injured because of someone else’s negligence. In fact, they obtained a $6.0 million settlement for the families of 6 children who died in a tragic apartment fire on Chicago’s north side because the landlords of the building failed to have proper and working smoke detectors in violation of the Chicago Municipal Code and the children were not able to escape the building in time. Additionally, they earned a $2.3 million Chicago fire injury settlement for two boys who were severely burned in a Chicago Housing Authority apartment fire.

If you or a loved one were hurt on the land of another because of the negligence of the landowner, contact an attorney to better understand your rights under the law.