Houston and also nationwide personal injury lawyers in ~ Morrow & Sheppard LLP won a $1,305,000.00 negotiation for a person injured by a potato gun, likewise known together a “spud gun.” The negotiation is thought to be among the largest, if not the largest, reported negotiation in a instance of this type. Ours lawyers recovered every penny of the easily accessible insurance.

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What Is A Potato Gun?

A potato gun additionally referred to together a “spud gun” or “potato cannon,” is a pipe-based cannon. Potato cannons usage either gas burning or pneumatic air push to beginning projectiles, generally potatoes, at high speed. Occasionally dry ice cream is provided as a propellant.

Combustion launchers utilize (1) a fuel system, often hairspray; (2) a burning chamber; (3) an ignition source, often a lantern switch or barbecue lighter; and (4) a barrel, often a piece of polyvinyl chloride or “PVC” pipe.

Here is a video clip of a potato total in action:

While potato guns may seem prefer innocent fun, castle are an extremely dangerous, bring about scores that injuries and even deaths.

Potato firearms Are really Dangerous

Potato guns are capable of firing projectiles 500 yards, or also farther.

A 2013 Colorado study found that acetylene propellant potato firearms can attain a muzzle velocity that 138.1 m/s, roughly 310 miles every hour. Other propellants also completed gun-level velocity, as follows:


Credit: Courtney, E.D.S. And M.W., examining the internal Ballistics of a burning Driven Potato Cannon utilizing High-speed video (2013).

The examine concluded, “Careless taking care of of a potato cannon could reason serious injury or death. Potatoes introduced with acetylene were additionally destructive to wood boards and also plastic objects at first employed together backstops prior to transitioning come 6mm thick steel plate.”

Another study uncovered that a potato introduced from a potato cannon has actually a 50 percent possibility of cracking your skull.

In short, potato guns are very dangerous.

Common Potato pistol Injuries

Potato weapons have injured numerous people across the country.

Potato weapons can reason a range of ocular (eye) and also other bodily injuries.

In 2010, 2 youngsters in Kankakee County, Illinois were celebrating Christmas. Among them had been offered a potato gun as a Christmas present. The potato total misfired and struck one of the youths in the left eye, separating his forehead.

In 2011, a Kentucky guy hurt his arm and shoulder in a potato pistol incident.

In 2007, a 21-year-old Iowa man died when a potato pistol exploded.

Other Potato gun Incidents

Numerous lawsuits have actually been filed emerging from potato total injuries.

In Hines v. Railserve, a Georgia court hosted a jury was entitled to discover a company liable because that negligent hiring and also supervision in a work injury situation in which the plaintiff’s co-workers created a potato pistol on agency premises. The potato gun misfired top top the occupational premises, causing a mind injury, and the worker filed a lawsuit. 757 S.E.2d 280 (Ga. App. 2014). The court hosted that, under the Kansas legislation that applied, “an employer has the duty not to reveal his employee to risks which the employer may guard versus by the practice of reasonable treatment . . . The are absolutely genuine issues of material fact as to whether both breached the duty by failing to straight off-the-clock employees, consisting of , to stop drinking beer, to stop attempting to detonate a attention explosive device, and to leaving the premises.”

In 2018, a 13-year-old California student in Palo Alto was conducting a school study on potato pistol distances. When the pneumatic valve failed and also the gun did not fire, the students investigated. The gun go off and also caused the student to sustain significant permanent eye injuries. A lawsuit to be filed against the institution for poor supervision.

Our Texas an individual Injury Lawsuit

In our case, landowners hosted a crawfish boil at your house complying with a baseball game. Adults present were drink alcohol. Young civilization were permitted to use two potato guns. There was a dispute around whether adult were supervising. At one point, children began firing the potato weapons in the general direction of other children. This situation was supposed to be a “game” that entailed recording the potato in baseball mitts.

In any event, following claimed misfire, our client was win in the eye by a potato, suffering significant injuries.

The insurance allowance companies originally denied responsibility. Us were forced to document suit, alleging negligence, negligence every se, and gross negligence, including:

Providing kids with improvised gunsFailure to carry out adequate supervisionDefective manufacture, warning, and/or architecture of the gunFailure to administer adequate warnings and also instructionsFailure to attain required licenses and/or permissions because that the gunFailure to secure the gunFailure to preserve the gunFailure come safely operate the gunGiving children a attention instrumentalityExercising express or include direction in an insignificant and/or unsafe wayOur attorneys researched the applicable law, secured all easily accessible documents and also investigatory materials, and took sworn testimony native the people responsibleUltimately, the insurance firm for the responsible next agreed come pay complete policy limits

Are Potato weapons Legal?

In our case, among the first questions we asked to be “are potato guns also legal?” The price is uncertain.

Certain jurisdictions and municipalities enable potato guns. Others don’t.

In California, it has been said that state laws prohibited potato guns, either the regulations regulating firearms, or laws making that a crime for anyone who “manufactures or reasons to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps because that sale, or supplies or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any type of . . . Zip gun” wherein a zip total is characterized as a “weapon or device” which “is make or altered to expel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other forms of combustion.” Ca. Penal code Sec. 12020.

New York law prohibits any type of person under the period of 16 from possessing any air-gun, spring-gun or various other instrument or weapon in i beg your pardon the propelling pressure is a feather or air. NY Penal password Sec. 265.05.

In 2002, east Grand Rapids Michigan launched a project to deter potato total usage. Offenders were issued misdemeanor citations. “SPUDS AWAY! Michigan Police Crack under on use of Potato Launchers”, 1 No. 17 ABAJEREP 11 (ABA Journal, may 3, 2002).

ATF category of Potato Guns

The commonwealth Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and also Firearms, or “ATF,” shows a human may seek category for his or her potato gun:

“Q: just how do I achieve a group from ATF for my “potato gun?”

Any human being desiring a group of a “potato gun,” “spud gun” or similar maker must send a written request (not e-mail) to the Director and also include a complete and also accurate summary of the device, the surname and resolve of the manufacturer or importer, the objective for which it is intended, and such photographs, diagrams, or drawings as may be important to do a classification. A last determination may require a physics examination of the device. Together requests for category should be it is registered to office of ATF, Firearms modern technology Branch.”

Texas Law concerning Firearms and also “Zip Guns”

In Texas, chapter 46 of the Texas Penal code governs “Offenses versus Public Health, Safety, and Morals,” specifically “Weapons.”

These Texas laws specify “firearm” together “any maker designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the power generated through an to explode or burning substance or any an equipment readily convertible to the use.” A “zip gun” is “a maker or mix of devices that to be not initially a firearm and is adjusted to expel a projectile with a smooth-bore or rifled-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burn substance.”

Texas regulation states that a person “commits an offense if the human being intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells” a zip gun. Tex. Pen. Code Sec. 46.05(a)(5).

Texas law likewise provides that, subject to details exceptions including supervised hunting, a human being commits an violation if a human younger than 17 easily gains accessibility to a firearm and the human being (1) failed come secure the firearm; or (2) left the firearm in a ar to i m sorry the human knew or should have known the boy would gain access. Tex. Pen. Password Sec. 46.13.

Other Texas laws permit local governments to regulate firearms. Because that example, a municipality may regulate the discharge of firearms or other weapons, other than at total ranges. Texas Loc. Gov’t code Sec. 43.002(d), 229.001(b)(2), 229.002-004.; Tex. Ag. Code Sec. 251.005(c)(2).

Can parents Be organized Liable for Injuries resulted in By your Children?

One issue that may come increase in a potato gun situation is, may parents be organized responsible once their child shoots someone with a potato gun? In various other words, carry out parents have to pay for an individual injuries resulted in by their children? as we have written in another an individual injury sue article, the answer may depend on the circumstances.

Houston personal Injury Lawyers Handle instances Nationwide

Our job-related injury lawyers and an individual injury lawyers handle cases throughout the unified States, with focus in Texas and Louisiana.

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In most cases, if someone does something wrong and injures someone else, they room responsible for the damage. If you space wondering whether to bring a an individual injury or wrongful death lawsuit, please call us because that a totally free consultation to talk about what legal rights you may have.