Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When playgrounds attack!

In 2010, Mr. Griffith and his eight year old son, Christian, wanted nothing more than a bit of "family time." The Mount Tabor Park vintage wooden slide seemed just the thing. A forty foot ramp of highly polished maple marks this as a real throwback amusement. It's like an elevated bowling alley!

Folks enjoy this slide on burlap, towels, or even wax paper.  Hardy souls just travel down by the seat of their pants.

Looks fun, doesn't it? Little Christian Griffith was impaled by an 8-121 inch wooden splinter...in his belly.  Not exactly the fun filled afternoon his father envisioned.

A lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court for Frederick County against the church that owns the slide, alleging a history of injuries due to splintered wood.  Young Christian sought $500,000 in damages.
On July 20, 2012, the parties settled the case for $60,000. While the church denied liability, I am sure that the potential proof of prior incidents created enough of a risk that the church's insurance company decided to pony up some money.

Remember, even churches carry liability insurance.  And even churches are responsible to avoid creating hidden dangers for you and your children.

When you or a member of the family is seriously injured on property owned by others, there is a series of questions that must be answered before you can sue.  For instance, were you legally on the property? And if not, was it reasonable for the owner to know that you would be on his property because some condition attracted you or your child?  Was the condition hidden, or latent? Or, was it so apparent that you should have known better? In the end, every owner must take reasonable steps to prevent harm to folks legally on their property. Where a public amusement is maintained, the duty is even a bit higher.

So, after the injuries are tended, and you or your loved one is on the mend, talk to a lawyer. We have handled many cases of serious personal injury over the last 25 years.

Visit the Young & Valkenet website.