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McQuiggan v. Boy Scouts of America

Maryland Court of Special Appeals
536 A.2d 137 (1987)


McQuiggan (plaintiff), a minor, by and through his guardian, filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America (Boy Scouts) (defendant) and two other fellow boy scouts (defendants) for assault and battery after McQuiggan was injured when a paper clip hit his eye. The incident occurred immediately prior to a Boy Scouts meeting in which McQuiggan and the two other defendants voluntarily ran up and down a hallway shooting paper clips at each other from rubber bands, similar to a sling-shot. All of the participants knew the object of the game and that there was a chance somebody could be hit with a paper clip. The boys chased each other for several minutes. When McQuiggan was done playing, he stopped running around with the other boys. However, McQuiggan did not communicate to the others that he no longer wanted to play the game. McQuiggan was then struck in the eye with a paper clip. The trial judge found that McQuiggan could not prevail, because he testified that he actively and freely participated in the game. Thus, the trial judge granted the defendant’s motion for judgment in their favor. McQuiggan appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gilbert, C.J.)

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