Last Memorial Day, a six-year-old child lived through a terrifying ordeal on Fort Lauderdale Beach Park when the bounce house she and two others were in took flight and sailed at least 20 feet before dropping hard to the ground.
Now, she girl has filed a personal injury lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, accusing both the vendor and the city of negligence. The inflatable structure had been affixed to a basketball court at the park and three children were inside when a tornado reportedly swept through and picked up the structure.
A recorded cell phone video of the incident shows the horror of those involved as the structure was lifted off the ground. Screams can be heard on the jostling video. The little girl inside, now the plaintiff, would later tell reporters she was thinking, “I was about to die.” She suffered a head injury, was admitted to the Broward Health Medical Center and treated overnight.
In addition to the City of Fort Lauderdale, vendor All Star Events, based in Miami Lakes, is named as a defendant.
The injury lawsuit complaint alleges the vendor acted with negligence with regard to the way it assembled and tied down the bounce house. The vendor is also accused of failing in its duty to actively monitor the weather conditions and failing to warn those who used the bounce house of possible risks. Finally, the vendor reportedly did not train its personnel for emergencies and the children inside were not appropriately supervised.
With regard to the city, plaintiffs allege officials had a duty under premises liability law to ensure guests were reasonably safe. Putting a bounce house on a concrete basketball court when the weather conditions were subject to rapid change was negligent and the city knew or should have known this created a dangerous condition on its property.
The city allegedly did not test the bounce house for performance issues in high winds. The city also did not inspect the feature or monitor the vendor as it should have. Plaintiff also alleges the city is negligent for allowing children to remain inside, despite the change in wind speed and weather conditions.
The day after the incident, when interviewed by reporters, the girl’s father reportedly made a comment indicating it was, “Just an accident,” and “Things happen.”
But at the time, the family’s attorney now says, the family did not fully grasp what had just occurred, and that there could be other parties responsible for what happened. It’s understandable. The fact is, we cannot control nature, but we can anticipate potentially inclement weather and control our response to it.
Think about it like this: A driver can’t control whether it rains. But if rain does fall, the driver owes a duty of care to other motorists to slow down.
In a situation like this, inclement weather was a reasonably foreseeable hazard for which those involved had a responsibility to prepare.
The girl’s parents say she is now mentally and emotionally challenged as a result of the head injury she incurred that day.
Injury attorneys for all three of the children who were inside the bounce house have been trying to negotiate with the law firm representing the vendor, but as of yet failed to reach a settlement agreement. This prompted the plaintiff’s decision to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Child injured after tornado lifted bounce house from beach sues Fort Lauderdale vendor, April 22, 2016, By Linda Trischitta, The Sun-Sentinel
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