A Hyattsville woman has withdrawn her lawsuit against a Rockville shooting range that she claims caused her permanent hearing loss.
Saleena R. Gilliard alleged Gilbert Indoor Shooting Range did not properly instruct her how to wear her protective ear muffs and as a result will “likely require hearing aids for the duration of her life,” according to her complaint.
A pretrial hearing had been scheduled for last week, but instead the shooting range agreed to dismiss the case at the request of Gilliard’s lawyer, according to Ronald G. DeWald, a lawyer for the shooting range.
“I guess they realized they didn’t have a case of liability,” said DeWald, of Lipshultz & Hone Chtd. in Silver Spring, a lawyer for Gilbert.
Gilliard and her boyfriend went to the shooting range Sept. 26, 2012 to celebrate Gilliard’s 28th birthday, according to a joint pretrial statement. They watched a beginner’s safety video as well as live demonstration on how to properly handle a gun, according to the joint pretrial statement.
The couple were provided with protective ear muffs, but Gilliard’s lawsuit alleges she was not told she needed to pull her “long hair ‘weave'” hairstyle back in order to ensure the earmuff were sealed against her ears.
Gilliard shot multiple guns for the next hour, with her earmuffs on improperly the entire time, according to the joint pretrial statement. She felt faint after leaving Gilbert, “as if her equilibrium was off,” her lawsuit states.
Gilliard was later diagnosed with hearing loss due to her time at Gilbert, according to her complaint. She sought more than $75,000 in damages.
DeWald said the shooting range goes “the whole nine yards” when it comes to safety. Gilbert’s denied the allegations and argued Gilliard failed to “observe and/or heed posted notices regarding loud noise and the use of appropriate hearing protection” and did not follow the “detailed” instructions given to her in her training class.
“It’s a well setup operation,” DeWald said. “If you go to most ranges they won’t have all of this training before you go shoot.”
Gilliard’s lawyer, E. Gregory Watson of Watson & Moran LLC in Upper Marlboro, did not respond to a request for comment.
The case is Saleena Gilliard v. Indoor Range Operating Co., 381349V.