Nine days after being struck by an inflatable slide outside of Progressive Field, a Pennsylvania man died. A wrongful death settlement was confidential. However, an Ohio Judge ordered the company that set up the slide at a Cleveland Indians event to pay the widow $3.5 million dollars.
The 54-year-old deceased victim was attending a Cleveland Indians baseball game in June of 2010 when the inflatable slide for “a kid’s day of fun” fell on top of him causing him to break three bones in his back. The victim suffered a pulmonary embolism brought on by the fractures and inactivity and his widow sued the Indians, National Pastime Sports, and several others claiming negligence and wrongful death. A default judgment was entered against National Pastime Sports after representatives for the Rochester, Michigan amusement company failed to show up for trial. News reporters attempted to reach the owner of National Pastime who did not return phone calls.
According to news sources, National Pastime owned the inflatable slide amusement attraction and was responsible for setting it up, according to an attorney for the slide manufacturer, Scherba Industries. It was alleged that National Pastime Sports failed to properly secure the slide causing it to topple over under the weight of 7 to 9 children gathered near the corner of the slide. The Ohio Department of Agriculture, which inspects amusement rides, cited National Pastime for operating the ride in an unsafe and negligent manner. The inflatable slide accident was captured by security cameras.
Additionally, it was alleged that Scherba did not provide adequate warnings or instructions for setting up the slide which allegations were denied by the company.
As experienced amusement park accident attorneys, we have understood for a long time that inflatables, while appearing to be seemingly innocuous and innocent, are often the source of some of the deadliest and most catastrophic accidents imaginable. With very little state and federal regulations, consumers do not always understand the risks of injuries or death.
As an inflatable accident attorney, I have been accused by park owners and operators as well as by many thrill seekers of taking the fun out of life. However, we believe that we perform a service to many parents and children who don’t recognize that there are extraordinary risks of danger and harm that accompany an inflatable amusement attraction when it is improperly maintained, inspected, or operated by individuals who may have had improper training or other deficient factors contributing to liability.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the widow and family of the victim in this case, and we hope that the verdict sends a wakeup call to others in the amusement and entertainment industry.