By Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
A woman who was severely injured when a fellow patron at an Oak Harbor restaurant accidentally discharged a gun has filed a lawsuit.
On Nov. 16, the attorney representing Barbara Bland filed the complaint for personal injuries against David Goodman in Island County Superior Court demanding special and general damages related to the shooting that left her as a double amputee.
Prosecutors charged Goodman, 58, with assault in the third degree with a firearms enhancement and reckless endangerment. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2021.
Goodman had been a volunteer coach for the Oak Harbor High School’s NJROTC air rifle team, teaching firearms safety as well as skills, according to court documents and the school district. His volunteer status was suspended after the shooting on Jan. 10, 2020.
Goodman was at dinner with others at Frasers Gourmet Hideaway in downtown Oak Harbor when he discharged a semiautomatic pistol that he had been carrying, the police report states. He has a concealed pistol license.
Goodman placed the gun on his chair when he got up to talk to a friend and it went off as he was sitting back down, the report states. The bullet struck Bland, who was dining at a nearby table, in the back and exited her chest. She was 82 years old at the time.
There was a bullet hole in the window across the table from where Bland was sitting, near where four other women were seated. One of the women said she would have been hit in the head if she were taller, the officer wrote in the report.
Bland was stabilized by paramedics and then transported to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. Tests showed she suffered right lung hemorrhaging, extensive injury to her chest wall and multiple rib fractures, the lawsuits states.
Bland was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for further treatment and spent four days in the hospital, according to the lawsuit.
During a painful recovery at home, the injuries caused significant blood clotting in both legs. Eventually her legs had to be amputated above the knees, the lawsuit states.
“Today, Ms. Bland is a double amputee, confined to a wheelchair and unable to live independently,” the lawsuit states. “At the time of filing this lawsuit, and for the foreseeable future, Ms. Bland resides at an assisted living facility.”
Bland’s attorney, Jennifer Cannon-Unione of Seattle, wrote that the injuries were the result of Goodman’s carelessness and negligence.
The attorney representing Goodman in the criminal case had no comment about the lawsuit.
This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.