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Old 03-23-2008, 03:51 PM #106
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what is the price of insurance?
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:26 PM #107
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Can anybody come up with a rough est. about bunker prices?
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:28 PM #108
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Originally Posted by minikmak View Post
what is the price of insurance?
that is probably the most expensive thing out of the whole bucket
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:33 PM #109
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Originally Posted by holsty View Post
i own a paintball course in Faribault, MN. I am here to let people know, along with all of the other field owners who know, that starting a paintball business is a lot harder than one would think. I began developing a business plan with my brother, we already had the land because our step father was a farmer. So we started to lay out our initial start-up costs. The first thing you must do in this process is go into detail. Things you will need money for: Proshop, netting, insurance, 50+ rental markers, product, bathrooms, concessions(if in remote location), high pressure compressor, fill stations, registers, referees, chronographs, paintballs, field development, telephone poles, steel wire for netting, sup air ball bunkers, equipment to work on field, internet site, and set money for advertising. I am sure there are things I am missing but even after that you have to understand that you will end up working 80+ hours a week, if you want to be a legitimate profitable business. But there are things that you can do to better your success. Be the most affordable paintball store in your area, which will help you to have loyal customers. You have to seperate players by skill, so basically you can't have new players playing with tournament paintballers, because anyone who doesn't have a good time is automatically hurting your business by word of mouth.

To All
What are somethings that you have done as a paintball field owner to increase business?
Have events at your field, try and get a local pb team to come down and help kids out and show them the ropes, hotdogs and soda
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:32 PM #110
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Originally Posted by doritoego View Post
Can anybody come up with a rough est. about bunker prices?
Sure thats easy, I'll teach you a quick formula.

Call or e-mail someone selling bunkers, get price, get a shipping cost, add those up.

So here is your formula. Cost + Shipping + Tax (if applicable) = rough estimate.

Or maybe do some thorough research all by yourself. (try

BTW: Cost fluctuates too much, and is dependent on to many things.
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Advice for the thread: "how to open a paintball store"
NastyShock3r: hey guy's i live in miami i need help to open a paintball store can anyone help or can tell me what i need to do?
midstatepaintball: That's easy! Just push on the front door of the store if it says "push", or pull on the door if it says "pull".
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:00 AM #111
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1. Waivers Will Not Protect You From Being Sued
There is no such thing as a perfect waiver. For one thing, people can sue for any reason. When they do, you'll need to hire an attorney. There are plenty of lawyers out there who will take a case even though the plaintiff signed a waiver.

In some states, an individual can't sign away their rights, including the right to sue. Just because you have it in a waiver, doesn't make it legally binding.
I've read lots of claims like this. In my opinion, that's true and that's not true. While it is true that anyone can sue anyone over anything in the United States, a good waiver, according to all the case law I have researched thus far, has provided adequate protection as an express waiver proving knowledge of the risks involved with paintball. There is a difference between being able to sue (a right, in most cases) and being able to even prevail beyond a motion for summary judgment (i.e. immediate dismissal of the case) (of which most do not). In any case, a good waiver can have a strong deterrent effect to litigation. (The vast majority of attorneys, in my experience, are ethical and they know this - or will with a little research - and do not waste their time (or their client's time and money) pursuing a case that doesn't have any merits.)

Most jurisdictions (my research, focused mostly on the Midwest) state that paintball is recognized as a contact sport (and is covered by the contact sport exception - SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO) or as "not an ultrahazardous activity" or as an "inherently dangerous activity," (i.e. it is inherently dangerous but not ultrahazardous - an important distinction as you will see below, which allows for field owners and others to be potentially protected under the assumption of risk doctrine - SEE BELOW FOR MORE INFO).

EXAMPLE OF CONTACT SPORTS EXCEPTION: Liability typically only attaches if "the actor's conduct is in reckless disregard of the safety of another if he does an act or intentionally fails to do an act which it is his duty to the other to do, knowing or having reason to know of facts which would lead a reasonable man to realize, not only that his conduct creates an unreasonable risk of physical harm to another, but also that such risk is substantially greater than that which is necessary to make his conduct negligent.

In order to prove recklessness as the basis for a duty, a plaintiff must show that the actor has intentionally done an act of an unreasonable character in disregard of a known risk or a risk so obvious that the actor must be taken to have been aware of it, and so great as to make it highly probable that harm would follow.

Courts analyzing whether a particular activity is a contact sport such that the recklessness standard would be applicable have generally found the relevant inquiry is whether the participants were involved in a contact sport, not whether the sport was formally organized or coached. Thus, the standard has been applied to unorganized, informal, and spontaneous sports activities and games, e.g., spontaneous game of kick-the-can in lobby of college dormitory; school recess activity known as killerball; unsupervised game of floor hockey among minors on backyard patio; child's game of kick-the-can."

Above quoted language cited as an example of a common position from a case in in Iowa in 1999 called Leonard ex rel. Meyer v. Behrens. The case was an appeals court affirmation of a district court ruling that the defendant paintballer was not liable for an injury to the eye of another paintballer, the plaintiff, who had raised his goggles on the field. In this case, there wasn't even a formal waiver that was signed - just a verbal agreement between players what the rules would be.

EXAMPLES OF ASSUMPTION OF RISK PROTECTION: As an example of a third party not being held liable due to the actions of another, the Mississippi Supreme Court held in 2004 in the case of Clark v. Brass Eagle, Inc. that the products liability claim against the manufacturer was properly dismissed on summary judgment, because: (1) the person injured by the paintball did not prove that the paintball gun failed to function as expected; (2) he offered no feasible design alternative that would have prevented the alleged injury; (3) he knew that protective eyewear was available, but chose not to buy any; and (4) he was an active participant in shooting paintballs at other vehicles when he allegedly was injured.

In the above case, the plaintiff tried to sue both the person who shot him with a paintball gun as they were shooting at each other while traveling in moving vehicles as well as the paintball gun manufacturer. The plaintiff in the case did not read any warnings on the packages of paintballs or on the CO2 cartridges he purchased, but admitted that it was "common sense" not to shoot anyone in the face with the paintball gun. He had seen protective masks for sale but never bought one. A warning in the instruction manual provided to the paintball gun user stated that protective masks had to be used; but he had not read the warning. Note here, that (1) there did not need to be actual notice of the danger, common sense was enough to show that they should have been using goggles when shooting at each other and (2) the third party, the manufacturer did not have liability attach to him partly because of that knowledge. Of course, the plaintiff is free to sue (although winning is another matter, but I won't go into how he may or may not win) the guy who shot him.

ANOTHER (MORE DIRECT) EXAMPLE OF ASSUMPTION OF RISK: In another case, a court granted a defendant's (the person being sued) motion for summary judgment (i.e. throwing out the case against them) in the case of a person being injured in the eye on a third party's property because, although paintball is a dangerous activity, it is not abnormally dangerous to the point where the person committing the injury should be strictly liable (i.e. liability attaches to the defendant no matter what). Incidentally, this case cites cases in CT, OK, and WA that concur that liability does not attach in this instance.

FYI, factors that "aid in the analysis of whether an activity is abnormally dangerous: (1) existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land or chattels of others; (2) likelihood that the resulting harm will be great; (3) inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care; (4) extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage; (5) inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it was carried on; and (6) the extent to which the activity's value is outweighed by its danger.""With respect to strict liability it is not every dangerous activity which will establish liability. It is only when, under the circumstances, an activity is abnormally dangerous that the actors become legally responsible."

Language taken from a synopsis of Goldhirsch v. Majewski, a year 2000 case in NY. Note: NY has a law that prohibits people under the age of 16 using (or having) paintball guns without parental oversight (permission??). As I am not from NY, I didn't read too much about their requirements. I just checked to see that a similar law was not in place in my state.

ANOTHER CASE SHOWING ASSUMPTION OF RISK (SHOWING EFFECT OF WAIVER CLAUSE): In another case, An paintball player was participating in a "paintball" war game on the landowner's property when a third party shot him in the eye. The invitee was not wearing his safety goggles as he was required to do and had signed an exculpatory clause releasing the landowner from all liability, yet was standing in a "free zone" being instructed and not actually playing the game when he was shot.

The plaintiff, while participating in ''survival games'' which involved the use of paint pellets fired by a CO[2] gun, was struck in the eye by one of the pellets. The appeals court upheld a jury verdict of the lower court in favor of the defendant landowner, relying, in part, upon the language of an express exculpatory clause that was contained in the rental agreement that had been signed by the plaintiff prior to being issued his gun and equipment. WOW! By the way, I read the portion of the exculpatory (waiver) clause at issue and it seemed standard issue. The case was decided in 1989 in Illinois and it has consistently been positively cited (and never countermanded) as far as I've been able to determine.

LAST AWESOME WAIVER EXAMPLE (ALTHOUGH THERE ARE OTHERS) OF ASSUMPTION OF RISK PROTECTING A PAINTBALL FIELD OPERATOR: Out of Oklahoma, an court of appeals (the next level up from the trial court, usually) affirmed that a paintball field operator could not be held negligently liable because of his waiver. This is another case of summary judgment (dismissal close to the time after a suit is commenced) on behalf of a defendant field owner. The case was Taylor v. Hesser decided in 1998.

In that case, the plaintiff (the injured party) sued defendants, a paintball facility, its owners, and the person who shot the paintball, for an eye injury he suffered after removing his goggles during a paintball game. They all prevailed against the injured person due to the fact the injured party was harmed by a paintball only because he elected to remove his goggles, despite being instructed not to remove the goggles. There was not a high degree of risk of harm, and any risk was eliminated by the exercise of reasonable care in wearing goggles. In other words, the court, in laymen terms, said it was his own fault he was injured because he lifted up his goggles and,thus, no one else is liable!


Last edited by 1kureckert : 06-10-2008 at 02:50 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:00 AM #112
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Some language from the court: "One of the essential elements of any negligence claim is a duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. No duty is owed in situations in which plaintiff has made no express agreement to release the defendant from future liability but is presumed to have consented to such a release because he has voluntarily participated in a particular activity or situation which involves inherent risks. The touchstone of the defense of assumption of the risk is consent. One of the situations in which consent is presumed is voluntary participation in a game." "Absent a duty there can be no negligence."

"In the context of assumption of risk, persons who willingly participate in a game or sport consent to the risks involved, which may include actions which violate the rules of the game."

Note two things from this case: (1) The court highlights the fact there was a safety orientation, where the plaintiff was instructed on the rules and how to behave and (2) there was a waiver (again standard issue stuff for the applicable part that I read) which had been signed by the plaintiff concerning the dangers involved.

Of course, that is not to say that going without liability insurance is the best idea. Businesses can be found to be liable for some of the same other reasons that afflict normal businesses. In the vast majority of cases, a good waiver offers some, if not complete, protection - depending on jurisdiction and any comparative negligence statutes that may apply. Unless the field does something affirmatively negligent or does not disclose hazards that a player cannot reasonably expect, case law suggests that there will be no liability to the field owner, especially with the waiver. The more simple a field, the easier it is to be protected. Running in the woods over uneven terrain logically has risks that are assumed. Having a fort constructed poorly which then collapses on a paintballer will open you up to a lawsuit.

There is a spectrum and, although I am NOT an attorney and this is NOT providing legal advice as I COULD BE COMPLETELY WRONG (I am just reporting what I found) and I STRONGLY suggest seeking legal advice before opening a field to determine your exposure to potential liability and under what conditions; however, given the fact this country practices the doctrine of stare decisis, the case law should provide some comfort as well as point out that, although anyone can sue, prevailing is a totally separate issue.

One final note: this is long and it is late. If I failed to make complete sense, I apologize. I've just been doing research since I want to open up a field some day (when my ducks are in a row). Hey, let's be honest here. There's a reason the insurance companies require the use of waivers - it protects them from having to pay out. If they weren't effective, why would they require them???

Last edited by 1kureckert : 06-09-2008 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:38 AM #113
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In addition 1kureckert's very thorough post, I'd like to add that I've seen a lot of various renditions of liability waivers, and some of them are jokes. The best I've seen yet is here:

Liability Release

It's the US Navy's MWR Release of Liability for paintball.

As long as appropriate sections are edited for your field, I see no reason why it wouldn't be usable. It's extremely thorough.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:31 AM #114
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:54 PM #115
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Thanks Sartek

Thanks Sartek, that was a great link. It will definitely help me in the production of my waiver. BTW, I've read other posts from you - you seem like a great guy. Thank you for contributing.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:52 PM #116
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1kureckert, does this apply to Canada?
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:44 PM #117
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:07 AM #118
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Cactus Bottom,

I don't know about Canada. Although Canadian laws are sometimes heavily influenced by their neighbors to the south, they still tend to have more of a "European" flavor due to their stronger ties to the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, I believe Canada, as well as America and the UK, is governed under a legal philosophy called "common law," whereas the rest of Europe, like France, follows a philosophy termed "civil law." Because of that, I would suspect they're similar, but I can't say for sure. Give me a day or so and I'll see what I can dig up, but it may not be much.


Incidentally, I must make two clarifications now that I've reread my post.

(1) Please do not forget that consent requires a knowledge of the risks. The safest course of action is to explain them to all your players and have them sign waivers to help prove that.

(2) In the course of my research, I came across alot of people saying waivers do not work, but I've seen no evidence of that in any legal case I read about nor did the people making the statement provide any evidence proving their point. In some cases, waivers are ineffective (e.g. two people can not sign a waiver to do an illegal activity, such as agreeing to be murdered), but not usually in the context of participating in a sport like paintball. I've read no cases (out of the 40+ I've read on the subject) where a plaintiff prevailed solely due to being injured. They have won against manufacturers on products liability ground (i.e. defective manufacturing), against parents for parental negligence in states where the law says people under 16 can not have a PB gun and the parents let them have one anyway, against people who were reckless (see definition in earlier post), against people who were negligent (by not informing them of a hazard they could not have been expected to know - such as a cliff, etc.), against someone who shot someone intentionally, and against a defendant(s) who defaulted in the case (by not mounting a defense by presenting their side of the case).

Some websites purposefully (I believe) try to perpetuate the myth of easy (strict) liability to paintball field operators/homeowners/etc. (on purpose for financial gain?) A prominent example of this is the website of Avalon Advanced Products who claim that they closed their field due to some poor paintball field operator being hit with a $6.6 million judgment, causing him to lose his house, cars, business, etc., even though the kid had signed a waiver. (Link:

This case seemed like to contradict everything in my earlier post. Because of that obviously disconcerting claim, I spent hours trying to substantiate it (or, at least, find the case it was referring to). I had clear, substantiated case law from Illinois (where this supposedly occurred), in which the $6.6 million judgment case would have completely overturned. Why wasn't this case showing up in my searches? Did I miss something? I mean this website even names the judge, the defendant, the plaintiff's attorneys, and the court! It had to be true, right?

Wrong. It took awhile since the case was an unpublished opinion. The reason it was unpublished is that the defendant in the case defaulted (from what I could find) and it went straight to the jury for a judgment amount. He never showed up to defend himself. Perhaps he was operating as an LLC or a corporation of some sort and figured it was just cheaper to start over than pay for attorneys. Maybe he just didn't want to show up. I don't know. What I do know is this: If the case happened (and it probably did - I found one brief reference to it, which is where I got the information above), the fact the defendant defaulted means there is no opinion of law (by the jury or the judge) to be published (or overturned if rendered erroneously). Thus, it has no precedential value and basically is non-existent as a matter of law. Thus, the law in Illinois (as far as I can tell) is what I cited earlier.

What really got my suspicions going was the fact that the guy supposedly "lost his house," "cars," etc. and was going to be paying "for the rest of his life." That didn't pass the stink test at all. Life doesn't work that way. For one, any intelligent person (which most business owners are) operates a field as an LLC or a corporation, which protects from personal liability. Second, even if the guy didn't do that (as he should have), the day after the $6.6 million dollar judgment, he walks into bankruptcy court and removes his personal liability by going through the bankruptcy process (whichever chapter he wants).

BTW, guess what the company does? It makes "muzzle spiker, the world's most reliable barrel blocking safety system." (quoting from their website news section from news 7/24/07. See also link for more info about the company.). (Link: (I guess they wouldn't want to inspire fear of liability to sell their barrel blocking devices. I'm sure they were totally unbiased.) (FYI, their true motives are revealed in the title of the link in their "News" section - "Paintball accident lawsuit ruins field owner's life and reliable source indicated barrel sock's failure was the cause." (Link: (see at bottom of page): Funny, the page itself mentions nothing about barrel socks and if there was a trial, wouldn't you say "witness" or "witnesses" instead of "reliable source"? Sorry to dwell on this, but I REALLY dislike people like these guys.)

Note two things on the bankruptcy thing (sorry if this is sounding like a law course and I won't get too much into it, but it is important to know - not abuse):

(1) A personal injury judgment will only survive a bankruptcy if the injury was "willful and malicious." It is sometimes a hard standard to meet as it must be proven that the person who did the injury subjectively believed his volitional (i.e. deliberate) act was substantially certain to produce the injury. I'm not going to get into how the courts argue over this, but suffice it to say that this "willful and malicious" is NOT negligence. Even if a field operator is found negligent (a pretty tough thing to do under normal circumstances - as shown in my earlier posts), he still may not be "willful and malicious." I would assume that most field operators are trying to do the right thing and (with the waiver helping prove that) do not need to worry too much about having a personal injury judgment surviving a bankruptcy proceeding if it came to that.

(2) This part is NOT to say do not purchase insurance and just rely on bankruptcy courts or LLC/Corporation Protection but... In the jurisdictions I've verified (Midwest again, but secondary sources suggest that this is uniformly true), even the failure to buy insurance, even if required by law, does not meet the "willful and malicious" standard. Thus, if a field operator was sued and lost and did not have insurance, he could still have the judgment discharged in bankruptcy.

I want to stress, though, that if you run a professional field, where people assume you have insurance, and you were charging them with them under that assumption, you'd be pretty dirty to not have it. (In fact, many places require you to have insurance if they are going to grant you a business license.) (Of course, whether the insurance company would decide not to pay out because of the reasons of my earlier posts is their decision. I've read cases like that.) This information is more for the average guy who plays with his buddies in the backyard or who has an informal field; although I recommend insurance in any case, if feasible.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. It is strongly suggested that you do not take this as legal advice and, if you are in a situation dealing with any matters discussed herein, you should see a licensed attorney for specifics pertaining to your situation.

Last edited by 1kureckert : 06-10-2008 at 02:52 PM. Reason: improve word flow
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:26 PM #119
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Originally Posted by Reddawg View Post
One other hard fact is your playing time is not what it was you will be busy doing thing around the field not playing on it.
Most people only see you sell paint and take in money so it looks easy.
They are not there to see cleaning guns, mask, mowing grass , fixing bunkers moving them to change field checking netting getting tanks and the list goes on and on.
Haha! Trust me, I've had to do ALL of that on a daily basis! It's hard work to keep everything maintained and in order. I spend at least a good 3-4 hours mowing the grass around our three fields. It's all worth it though!
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:32 PM #120
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Sorry for being late in getting back to you Cactusbottom.

As I said before, Canada is for the most part governed by the "common law" method of jurisprudence (meaning they follow the doctrine of stare decisis, just like America and the UK). The only exception is Quebec, which follows the "civil law" theory (just like France and most of Europe).

When there is little or no existing Canadian decision on a particular legal issue, Canadian courts look to a non-Canadian legal authority for reference (i.e. decisions of UK courts and US courts are often utilized). In light of the long standing history between UK law and Canadian law, the English Court of Appeal and the House of Lords are often cited as (and considered to be) persuasive authority, and are often followed. If the legal question at issue relates to matters of constitutional or privacy law, however, decisions of United States courts are more likely to be utilized by Canadian lawyers because there is a much greater body of jurisprudence in US law than English law in these areas. In any respect, US law can be cited and may be persuasive, depending on the volume of the law in the US. If there are many jurisdictions deciding the same way on an issue, the Canadian courts are not likely to go against that. Believe it or not, the reverse is also true. American courts have, at times (rarely does the issue come up), found persuasive the arguments of courts from other countries, such as Canada and the UK, and adjudicated a case under the same reasoning as those courts.

I was able to find a case from the UK that may be illustrative since I was able to find none in Canada.

In Adams v. Skirmish Limited, from 12 June 1990, the judgment (called the Transcript: Chilton Vint – he was the judge) discusses the case of where a paintballer was injured in the inner ear by a paintball pellet. Goggles were worn and there was protection for the outer ear. The transcript is long, but the shortest way to sum it up is by the following quotes:

“So I am satisfied on the basis of the evidence that I have heard that he was a careful and prudent operator of war games and that is the way that I should approach the matter when it comes to consider the situation as a matter of law.”

“I believe that this accident was not foreseeable as a matter of law and accordingly the Plaintiff's claim must fail.” (i.e. the defendant field operator won.)

The case hints at and briefly discusses the need to guard against foreseeable dangers to forestall liability but nothing that a prudent field operator should worry about as a prudent person would do that. (An example of not guarding against a foreseeable danger would be to let people play without goggles. This again is English law, not American law. The American court would probably not put as much onus on the field operator as long as the players themselves understood and accepted the risks. There are no guarantees, but American courts have found similar to that concept.)

Remember also that the larger body of American cases that I cited above (and the ones I left out ruling the same) will weigh heavily on any Canadian judge should the case come up. (Perhaps it has and the case was dismissed so I can find no evidence on it. I don’t know.)

In any event, it seems like the courts, on both sides of the Atlantic, have reached the same conclusion concerning the prudent operator, no negligence liability.

(Incidentally, liability for negligence has basically the same components in all three jurisdictions (Canadian, US, UK) so the rules on duty of care and informing people of risks they could not know themselves exist. On the flip side, that also means, if you are doing what you are supposed to, you will most likely not be found negligent.)

I want to reiterate one more time, that I am not an attorney for this or any other reason. Laws vary from state to state, county to county, and city to city. It is impossible for me to know all the laws for your particular jurisdiction. I just have access to legal databases that are not usually available to the general public (subscription services) and I have used them regularly for research before. I also don't mind searching the web. Since I am not an attorney, I suggest you consult one locally for this or any other issue, if you feel the need.

Last edited by 1kureckert : 06-10-2008 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Improve word flow
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:16 PM #121
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Once again, thanks, plus, this answered my question in the pm.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:19 AM #122
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hey, how much would it cost to start a field if i already have the land, and i was planning to use the hay bales we get from the land instead of bunkers? because i live just out side of my town, I dont' have to get a permit for anything i think, and I would just have it be byo gun, paint and CO2, or at least until I make sure people come out there lol
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:06 PM #123
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Sounds like "nothing" is your answer, if you are not providing paint or air and the hay bunkers are free. Most places do not require a special permit for informal paintball games held on private land. (The same goes for public lands, although some places require you to check in at the park office or ranger station. Some public lands, especially some I know of in California near LA, forbid the playing of paintball on them.) If you were operating a for-profit business in a city or town, you most likely would need to get a business license. Nevertheless, until you get some real, regular customers, I would just treat it as an informal field as I do mine.
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:17 PM #124
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:19 AM #125
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Here in New Zealand..You cant sue as such...We have ACC (Goverment body) Accident Compensation ..If you are injured and need hospitalisation its free..However...If the accident is thru FoP's negligence a Goverment owned company will investigate it..If it is deemed FoP is at fault he will be fined..
I have Insurance to cover such events..I hope I never need it.
Still the biggest issue in NZ as is guess most other Countries and that is Backyard/Cowboy Field set ups..These fields have no insurance , dont pay taxes and for most part under cut genuine fields who scrape a living out of ball.
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:58 AM #126
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Very well writen and enjoyed reading from your information and experience

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