A local neighborhood or school playground is a great place to take your children for some recreational fun and exercise. Most playgrounds these days are built with safe plastic materials and pose very little threat to those who use them safely and properly.
Some playground structures contain manufacturing defects, however, which can lead to injuries on the part of children who use them. Older playgrounds that have not been properly maintained may become unsafe as a result of overuse or simple wear and tear. When accidents happen on such equipment, innocent children may be severely injured or die as a result.
If your child has been injured on defective playground equipment, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible. Defective playground equipment lawyer Jeffrey Killino can help you fight for the justice you and your child deserve. Call Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927 to speak with him about your legal options.
Common Playground Defects
Playgrounds have evolved over time in both design and material in order to better safeguard their young users from injury. While most playgrounds are manufactured with smooth plastic surfaces and safe railings around higher platforms, these safety measures will not protect a child from certain manufacturing defects that may be present. Playground defects that may hurt users include the following:
- Lack of safety mat
- Unsafe surface or lack of padding beneath equipment
- Loose screws or nuts holding playscapes or swings together
- Swing-set defects
- Ladder defects
- Head-entrapment hazards
- Protruding parts that can cause puncture wounds or strangulation if clothing becomes entangled
Legal Liability for Injuries Caused by Defective Playground Equipment
Though many playground injuries are caused by the negligence of supervisors or maintenance companies, according to some statistics, over half of all playground injuries are caused by defects in the design or manufacture of playground equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides guidelines for manufacturers, suggesting, among other things, the use of certain material composites in equipment construction and the inclusion of signage to warn of dangers or to instruct in proper use.
The CPSC’s “Handbook for Public Playground Safety” and the Consumer Federation of America’s “Report and Model Law on Public Play Equipment and Areas” are authoritative publications on the safety of playground equipment and grounds.
Playground manufacturers and anyone in the equipment’s chain of distribution may be held liable in damages for injuries sustained by children while playing on defective playground equipment. Such actions may be brought when the equipment in question contains a defect in its design, manufacture, or warnings.
- Design Defects
Defects in the design of playground equipment can be the basis for liability on the part of the manufacturer and anyone in the chain of distribution if the design defect is a cause of a child’s injury. A sliding board designed without adequate railings, for example, may cause children to fall if they lose their balance and have nothing to hang onto.
- Manufacturing Defects
Defects in the manufacture of playground equipment may also lead to liability on the part of the manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution if the defect is a cause of a child’s injury. A merry-go-round or similar playground item that was manufactured with loose or easily breakable bolts may result in equipment breakage while in motion and lead to severe or even fatal injuries to children who are playing on it at the time.
- Inadequate Warnings
Inadequate warnings regarding the dangers of playground equipment are common bases for product-liability actions. The lack of adequate warnings is considered to create a hazard for users that could have been avoided if proper warnings had been given. These warnings should be placed on the equipment itself, so that they are visible to users, inspectors, and other maintenance personnel.
Playground operators rather than equipment manufacturers have the duty to install playground equipment over safe surfaces. But, manufacturers have the duty to warn playground operators and owners who have purchased their equipment that the installation of certain surfaces is necessary to the equipment’s safe use.
If a manufacturer fails to provide such a warning and playground equipment erected over a hard surface, such as concrete, results in an injury to a child from a fall onto the surface, the manufacturer may be held liable for the child’s injuries.
If your child has been injured by defective playground equipment, contact defective playground equipment lawyer Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927 for experienced and caring assistance in pursuing your legal rights.