Ballinger family seeking jury trial after sword injury to their son

Family files $60M lawsuit against sword company

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's a $20 sword Tristan Ballinger's parents and their lawyer say should come with a warning label because of the dangerous potential.

"I can't urge people to be cautious enough when it comes to handling these things and protecting your family," said their family attorney Mat Slechter.

Ballinger was hit in the forehead by the 27-inch blade when it came flying off when he and his friend were playing with it last year.  Slechter says the blade was secured only by rubber cement 7 centimeters into the handle.  The Ballinger family is suing Top Swords, Inc. for $60 million.

"The product was shipped in just a plain brown cardboard box," Slechter said. 

In a 15-page response to the lawsuit, Top Swords, Inc. says it is not liable because the company had no role in the design, distribution or the manufacturing of the sword.  They say they just sold it.  On its website, the company advertises dozens of different makes and models of swords, knives and daggers and says 'We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell.'

"Their liability comes into play in terms of marketing and failure to provide warnings, notices of dangers, warning about appropriate uses of the product," he told WHAS11.

Top Swords, Inc. lawyers declined further comment but they are requesting a trial by jury.  Slechter hopes to shut down the online marketplace because he believes companies are not implementing enough safeguards.

"At a bare minimum, if they are going to be marketed and sold, they should be accompanied by warnings and instructions about their proper use," Slechter said.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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