Who Is Liable for Playground Injuries?
Playground injuries can occur in many places, such as public or private schools, daycare facilities, parks, and even private homes. Children can be injured by unsafe behavior or unsafe equipment, but there is often a party who is liable for the safety of your child. Many playground injuries stem from unsafe playgrounds, faulty play equipment, or negligent supervision. If your child has sustained an injury on the playground, keep reading to learn who may be held liable for their accident.
Poorly Maintained Playgrounds
The operators of playgrounds, including private property owners, city government agencies, schools, and business owners, have a duty to ensure their playgrounds are safe to use. This duty of care means the operator should ensure that children are protected from foreseeable dangers by inspecting and maintaining the property. Playground equipment can become damaged over time and safety measures, such as ground padding under swings, can deteriorate. Routine maintenance and inspection is required to reduce the liability of playground operators and can keep kids safe.
To file a premises liability claim, you will need to demonstrate:
- The defendant was responsible for the property’s care.
- The injured child was among those who would be expected to be on the property, such as a student of the school or a visitor.
- The defendant did not exercise a proper amount of care in maintaining the playground.
- The child was injured in a foreseeable way.
- The defendant’s lack of care contributed to the child’s injury in a significant way.
Faulty Playground Equipment
It’s the duty of the playground operator to maintain the playground and play equipment, but who is liable when a piece of playground equipment breaks under normal, reasonable circumstances? When a playground set is manufactured, there are most likely several parties involved in the process. Those who design the equipment must ensure that their designs meet all safety standards and will be safe under standard use. Manufacturers must be sure that the play equipment is manufactured exactly as designed, marked clearly with any necessary warnings or use instructions, and accompanied by proper installation instructions. Contractors in charge of building the play equipment must follow all directions and ensure that the equipment is built exactly as intended. If any of these parties does not properly perform their duties, they may be held liable for an equipment failure during a products liability lawsuit.
If an adult has accepted the responsibility of watching your child, such as at school or while visiting that individual’s home, they may be liable for any injuries that occurred due to negligent supervision. School teachers and staff have a heightened duty of care, as they are acting n loco parentis, or in the place of the child’s parents. It is mandatory that school staff takes reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm to students.
To file a claim for negligent supervision, you must prove:
- The defendant agreed to supervise your child.
- The defendant did not appropriately monitor your child’s behavior and safety.
- Your child was injured due to this inattentiveness.
It’s also important to remember that negligent supervision can include a lack of supervision when supervision is expected.
You child deserve to play safely, and you deserve to have peace of mind knowing they are protected. If your child is injured in a playground accident, however, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Toledo premises liability attorneys. Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. has more than a century of collective experience to draw from, and we will work tirelessly to support your claim.
Schedule a free consultation to get started on your case! Contact our offices by calling (419) 318-0772.