Paintball park sued by non-profit for the blind
by Barbara Hollingsworth, Local Opinion Editor
Lawyers representing a non-profit Maryland group are suing a White Marsh paintball park for not letting them play.
Why? Because they’re blind.
Paintball is a visual sport. But it’s doubtful that’s what lawyers for Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, a non-profit whose stated “purpose is to positively change people's attitudes about blindness,” were thinking when they filed the first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Route 40 Paintball Park in U.S. District Court.
The 11-year old park, which features four tournament-size fields, is owned by former “professional” paintballer Tom Maliszewski. Rules for patrons of the paintball park, which are posted one its website, states: “Blind shooting is not allowed. Look at what you are shooting.” With flying projectiles, this is only common sense.
This is an obvious reference to careless behavior by sighted players, but since it could equally apply to the sightless as well, making it difficult to prove that any blind would-be paintball players are victims of discrimination.
This is an obvious payday ploy intended to pressure Maliszewski, who had no comment, into some sort of financial settlement to avoid spending even more money on legal fees. But it may backfire on Blind Industries. This suit isn't goiing to change people's attitudes about blindness "positively." And in this Christmas season, it’s difficult to feel philanthropic toward people who will use the money to abuse the legal system this way, harming small business owners in the process.
Even if they are blind.
This post has been edited by CrazyLittle: 19 December 2011 - 11:39 PM
Reason for edit: Fixed formatting