Children are injured at school and private playgrounds each year. And, some of these injuries can be very serious – including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones or internal injuries. When you send your child to school, you trust that the school has a safe environment for your child – including on the playground. But, once your child is injured because of faulty playground equipment you may wonder who is liable. Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward like it may seem.
When the Equipment Malfunctions
Defects in playground equipment can be contributed to numerous parties- and it may not always be the school that is responsible for those defects. If the equipment is poorly designed or has clear malfunctions, then the manufacturer would be liable under the product liability law. Playground equipment manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are safe before they are installed or even released to the public. They can be considered strictly liable if someone is injured by their product.
To file a product liability claim, you will need to consider the three main types of claims that are out there:
- Design Defects – This is when the equipment has a clear design flaw that makes it dangerous to children. The manufacturer would have known the defect was present or known the design was faulty and still released the product regardless of that knowledge.
- Manufacturing Defects – This occurs when the defect is made during manufacturing – whether it is due to skipped processes or to improper manufacturing practices. This allows dangerous parts to then be installed in the playground equipment.
- Warning Defects – Manufacturers are required to include warnings on their products. If the product lacks adequate instructions or warnings, this omission can make the manufacturer liable for any injuries that are a result.
Assessing the School’s Liability
Sometimes it is not the manufacturer that is responsible for a child’s injuries; instead, it is the school. If the school failed to maintain the equipment properly, a parent could file a premise liability claim against that school. This requires filing a lawsuit against a government entity – which has a different procedure and stricter timeline than a private lawsuit.
Filing a suit against a school typically requires filing a notice of the claim first – which gives the government an official notice that an injury has occurred. This also gives them the opportunity to accept and settle the claim before they have to go to court. If that claim is denied, the victim will then sue the school in court.
Was Your Child Injured Due to Faulty Playground Equipment? Contact Malman Law
If your child was injured by faulty playground equipment, contact the attorneys at Malman Law today. We understand how difficult it can be to see your child injured and when a manufacturer fails to follow safety protocols or a school neglects your child’s safety. We want to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us online to schedule an appointment with an attorney or call 888-625-6265.