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Lawsuits & Litigation

Oregon Man Sues Instructor After Sword-Fighting Lesson Goes Wrong

— September 7, 2018

An Oregon man who says he was stabbed in the eye during a sword-fighting lesson is suing his course instructor for $9 million.

The lawsuit says the injury occurred last year, during a sword-fighting class at the Elks’ Milwaukie Portland Lodge.

Instructor Jason Romandelle Brown called upon a beginner student to participate in a demonstration. The plaintiff volunteered to act as a prop, only to be unintentionally stabbed in the eye.

Jeremiah DuPrau, 35, claims his injuries are irreparable and irreversible. The sword, reports, not only pierced DuPrau’s eye but penetrated further into his skill. The tip made contact with his brain, shattering the bones of his face in the process.

DuPrau’s now legally blind, incapable of seeing through his right eye. The other eye, while comparably still intact, has lost much of its acuity.

Listed as defendants in the suit are sword-fighting instructor Jason Romandelle Brown, Swordguild Portland and the Elks’ Milwaukie Portland Lodge No. 142. OregonLive was unable to reach Brown for comment.

The blade not only penetrated DuPrau’s eye, but his skull, too. Image via Wikimedia Commons/Government of Tasmania. Public domain.

The other defendants declined comment due to pending and active litigation.

DuPrau’s lawyer says his client was injured on the third day of class, when he volunteered to be used as a prop. Brown didn’t explain what was about to happen and didn’t tell DuPrau to don protective headgear or a face screen.

“He’s unable to drive, unable to ride his bike, unable to hike,” said attorney John Coletti. “He actually had to give his dog away because he was unable to take care of it.”

Following the tragic mishap, DuPrau suffered a stroke. As a consequence, DuPrau’s now partially paralyzed throughout the left side of his body. Moving, walking and balance are all considerably more difficult for the 35-year old man than they were before.

The suit, filed in the Circuit Court for the State of Oregon, accuses the defendants of gross negligence.

“As a result of the negligence of the defendants, and each of them, Jeremiah DuPrau was caused to suffer injuries to the muscles, nerves, and tendons of his eyes and brain; blindness; brain damage; paralysis; weakness; difficulty walking; difficulty speaking; and left sided weakness, all of which injuries and the consequences of them are permanent and have caused Jeremiah DuPrau to suffer economic damages,” says the suit, which requests $3 million in compensation for the man’s medical expenses and potential lost income.

Along with economic damages, the suit asks for $6 million in noneconomic damages, primarily for pain and suffering.

The suit, uploaded online by OregonLive, characterizes DuPrau as a “defenseless” novice without the training, skill or experience to participate in Brown’s demonstration.



Lawsuit: Sword-fighting student sues instructor for stabbing him in eye and brain

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