A lawsuit has been filed by the family of a 6 year old girl that was injured in a 20 foot fall after the inflatable bounce house she was playing in, with two friends, was torn from its mooring by a waterspout that came ashore in Fort Lauderdale. The nation watched with horror as the inflatable lifted and tumbled in in the air before crashing to the ground last Memorial Day. Her family is seeking damages from the City of Fort Lauderdale and the bounce house vendor.
Florida has some of the greatest thrill ride destinations in the nation featuring water slides, rollercoasters and more. The Insurance Information Institute reports that there were a total of 1,221 ride-related injuries nationwide in 2013. Of those injuries, 53 percent took place on adult rides while only 6 percent took place on children’s rides. Roller coasters led the field totaling 40.5 percent. These statistics are for fixed site amusement parks.
The numbers increase dramatically when mobile rides are taken into account such as carnival swings, moon walks and water slides. Over a five year period, amusement attraction injuries treated at emergency rooms rose by 45 percent. A large percentage of which occurred in inflatables.
With the increase in popularity of inflatable rides, such as moon walks and bounce houses, at festivals and carnivals as well as school field days and private parties, the number of related injuries has increased over a ten year period. From 2003 to 2013 there were an estimated 113,272 emergency room visits connected to inflatable amusements, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those, 90 percent were moon walk related. Two thirds of the injuries affected the legs and arms. During the same ten year period there were 12 reported deaths connected to inflatables.
In the State of Florida, inflatable rides of any kind do not require state inspection regardless of size and location. The safety of children is the responsibility of the adults. To help ensure the safety of children regarding these rides, several safety measures should be applied:
- Bounce Houses and Moonwalks should be under adult supervision at all times.
- Children should not be allowed to enter without an adult present.
- No food or drink or any loose objects or toys should be allowed.
- No shoes, eyeglasses, hair clips, phones, tablets or any sharp or hard object should be allowed
- Children should all be approximately the same age and size.
- No tumbling, flipping, wrestling, running, pushing or climbing allowed.
- Weather conditions ad forecasts should be monitored closely, especially in Florida where sever storms can form in minutes. If lightning or winds over 20 miles per hour is likely children should be moved to a safe structure.
- Should the blower motor cease operation, the children should be removed in a calm and orderly fashion.
- The equipment should be personally inspected for loose tie-downs before allowing children to enter.
Amusement parks, fairs, carnival and parties offer great family fun and memories. But diligence in regard to safety should always be a priority.
If you or your loved one received serious injuries at a fair, amusement park, party or any other event or in an inflatable bounce house, contact a personal injury attorney right away. Florida laws regarding many amusement events vary. There is a recreational use statute that protects landowners from lawsuits if the landowner allows a recreational event without charging. It is the attorney’s job to determine who the legally responsible party is. An experienced premises liability lawyer is needed to make that determination accurately.
Dolman Law Group specializes in premises liability cases. If you or your child were injured, speak with a qualified attorney today. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and more. Call today at (727) 853-6275.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652