Parent Wins $45k In Playground Injury Lawsuit
A parent recently sued the municipality of Chattanooga after his child was injured at a playground. According to the lawsuit, the boy was injured on a partially underground tire. The boy fell from the tire onto the hard earth and he broke his arm. His father sued saying that the playground was unreasonably dangerous. The city paid $45,000 to the parent which is $30,000 less than he was asking for.
The City of Chattanooga claimed that the parent was partly responsible for the injury because he wasn’t adequately watching his children when his child was injured. This is a common defense strategy in personal injury lawsuits. The defendant will blame the plaintiff for the injuries for which they are suing for. This strategy is effective because juries don’t like money-grubbing plaintiffs who are out for a quick payday. It also has a tendency to make the plaintiff very angry or scared which is, in fact, the purpose of the strategy. No one wants to be thought of as a bad parent, so walking away from the lawsuit becomes an option just to make the anxiety of that accusation go away. Personal injury attorneys often coach our clients that this is just a strategy and the defense would be doing this no matter how strong your argument was, or how much evidence supported your argument, because under the law, it is still the most effective strategy. In other words, you cannot take defense counsel’s recriminations personally or seriously because regardless of the situation, they would be making the same claim.
While this may anger or frighten you, it’s the defendant’s pocketbook who you are imperiling, so they’re just as angry and frightened as you are.
Duties of care in playground accidents
Both parent and city have a duty of care when it comes to playgrounds. A parent must be supervising their children so that they don’t do anything unreasonably dangerous at the playground, as children are wont to do. The parent’s duty of care extends to the conduct of their children while they’re playing. The city’s duty of care extends to the overall safety of the playground. In this suit, the plaintiffs made the effort to describe why the playground was unreasonably dangerous. They argued that the tire did not have adequate padding around it. If OSHA were to stop by, they would wholly agree with the plaintiffs. Nonetheless, the parents do have a responsibility to ensure their children are playing safely.
The settlement was awarded on the basis that the playground did have a safety issue that caused an injury. Hopefully, the city will spend the $30,000 it saved by blaming the parent to update the area around the playground and ensure that there is enough padding around the tire to prevent falls that lead to injury.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Duties of care in playground injuries can be difficult to unravel. The Miami personal injury attorneys at Payer Law have helped our clients argue that unreasonable dangers in playgrounds resulted in avoidable injuries. Call today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin drafting your suit today.