February 5, 2015 — WRCB TV reports that a crossbow hunter from North Georgia has filed a lawsuit after they were seriously injured while using the Jackal crossbow, made by Barnett Outdoors, LLC.
More than 30 other hunters have filed lawsuits, with about two dozen of them filed by one attorney in Texas. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched an investigation, but no recalls have been issued.
Because the Jackal is front-heavy, hunters say it’s natural to want to hold it with the thumb in harm’s way. When the hunter is looking through the sight, fingers are not visible. In the heat of the moment, with a buck in sight, all it takes is a moment of forgetfulness to cause a lifetime disability.
The man, Kevin Lilly, said he was injured the first time he used the Jackal crossbow in December 2012. The drawstring moves at 370-feet per second. When it hit his thumb, it sliced into his thumb and shattered a joint.
The following year, Barnett added a thumb guard, which is a simple piece of plastic that prevents a user’s thumb from straying into the path of the drawstring and being amputated. Although finger-guards are becoming more common, manufacturers are not required to add them on high-powered crossbows.
Lilly says he hopes the crossbows are recalled to prevent more serious injuries. His medical expenses totaled at least $7,000, and could be higher because doctors want to “fuse his thumb together.” He has been unable to hunt and continues to suffer from chronic pain and decreased function.