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Outdoor party attractions can be hazardous

Outdoor events can be particularly popular during good weather in Pennsylvania. Modern event attractions can be fun because they can be set up in a variety of private or public settings to accommodate a wide range of ages and interests. A rock climbing experience, bounce house, or trampoline can provide a way to add a sense of fun and adventure to one's events. However, premises liability can become a serious issue if the portable attractions used at an event cause injuries to participants. This was the case for a man who attended a picnic for his wife's employer in New Jersey recently.

The attraction in question was a trampoline that involved bungee cords and a harness to increase bounce height for those participating. An operator was responsible for lifting and lowering the participant, and in the case of the man in question, an error in judgement led to a serious arm injury. The man required surgery to repair a ruptured distal biceps tendon, and medical bills for the injury mounted to an estimated $8,500. Lasting physical damages include scars from the surgery, reduced range of motion, ongoing weakness and pain issues.

In this instance, legal action was brought against the manufacturer, rental companies, event organizer, and the facility at which the event was held. The overall settlement reached was nearly $310,000, which included funds from all parties sued. Settlement amounts from the parties ranged from $2,500 from the event organizer to $252,000 from one of the rental companies involved.

A lack of danger warnings could lead to an individual taking part in an attraction that is not safe for them, and operators who are not trained adequately in an attraction's operation could lead to severe injuries. In such a scenario, premises liability and other personal injury action might be appropriate to deal with damages suffered after participating.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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