Recent inflatable ride accidents may demonstrate product liability issues

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted on June 10, 2011.

A string of inflatable amusement ride accidents may be caused by product liability issues. Over the last two months, at least 10 inflatable amusement rides like bounce houses or inflatable slides have collapsed from weight or toppled from wind. The amusement ride failures have injured over 40 people with the most recent one sending 13 people to the hospital.

At a youth soccer tournament last weekend, a two-story red, white and blue inflatable slide took to the air because of high winds. Adults watching their children at the tournament chased after the slide. Some in pursuit used knifes to puncture holes in the slide so the ride could be wrangled back to the ground. Two other inflatable rides also took off that day and thirteen people were sent to the hospital. Most suffered bruises, but many do not realize the danger that inflatable rides can present.

Most inflatable amusement ride accidents are caused by improper setup, high winds and lack of supervision. A lot of companies that rent inflatable rides drop off the ride without setup and with minimal instruction. Often, the rides are not properly secured and too many kids of all ages jump in without supervision. Not only can improperly secured and supervised rides hurt those using the ride, the inflatable rides can also hurt those on the outside. One 36-year-old woman was hit by a flying inflatable slide. The impact sent her to the ground and she began to bleed from her mouth.

At least two deaths were caused by inflatable rides last year. In June of last year a middle aged man at a Cleveland Indians game was killed when an inflatable slide collapsed and fell on top of him. A 5-year-old boy in January 2010 was killed when he fell off an inflatable slide and landed on the concrete floor of an inside amusement park.

Source: USA Today, "NY accident illuminates perils of 'bounce houses'," 6/7/11

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