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Premises Liability

Premises liability refers to the legal duty to maintain a safe property.

A premises liability case can occur in a variety of public places, although some are more inherently risky than others. Serious injuries can be incurred from an icy sidewalk not properly treated, unsafe stairs, or even inadequate security. If you have been seriously injured in a public place through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation.

Examples Locations of Premises Liability

Amusement Parks

Laundromats

Movie Theaters

Grocery Stores

Playgrounds

Who has premises liability?

N

Owner of a home

N

Owner of a store

N

Owner of a business

N

Owner of land

N

Those who rent or lease property

Premises Liability News

Fatal Hayride Accident Spotlights the Lack of Federal Regulations

October is a time for apple cider, doughnuts, hayrides, and haunted houses. The last thing anyone expects is to be seriously injured or lose a loved one from being thrown off a hayride. A Halloween-themed hayride in Maine turned tragic when a 1979 Jeep SUV pulling the hay wagon lost control Saturday night. The wagon careened down a hill, struck a tree and overturned. A 17-year-old girl was killed; more than 20 others were injured including the driver of the Jeep pulling the wagon. The incident marks the third hayride fatality in the U.S. this fall. The accident occurred during the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride at Harvest Hill Farm in Mechanic Falls, Maine, about 25 miles southwest of Augusta. The flatbed trailer was being pulled near a haunted house when it apparently missed a turn at the top of a hill. The trailer jackknifed and the Jeep went off the narrow, steep road. The trailer hit a tree, throwing its passengers to the ground. Authorities believe a mechanical problem prevented the SUV pulling the wagon from stopping. State police are looking to determine if the Jeep’s brakes were in working order and have been calculating the passengers’ weight to determine if the hay wagon was overloaded. The farm remains closed while an investigation is ongoing. While state fire marshals inspect and license mechanical amusement rides, most states, including Maine, have no federal regulations in place for operating hayride and a license is not required. This means that innocent people are left in the dark about which ride is safe for their families; few are aware of the lack of... read more

Trampoline Safety: You could be Liable for Injuries

Do you own a trampoline? If you do there are some things you should know to protect yourself from potential lawsuits. In January 2013 Sky High Sports filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Bellevue, Washington. The indoor trampoline park cited dozens of lawsuits from people who were injured and alleged company negligence. At the time it owed more than $250,000 to insurance companies. In February 2014, KHOU11 reported that a family in Houston, Texas filed a lawsuit against the owners of Cosmic Jump, another indoor trampoline business. The family claims some sort of tear at the end of a trampoline slide caused their teenaged son to fall and hit his head on the concrete. How to Protect Yourself from Lawsuits Trampoline parks are not the only entities that can be held liable for injuries. Homeowners with trampolines in their backyards can also find themselves at the center of a lawsuit. Before you purchase a trampoline you should check with your insurance agent to make sure any injuries incurred on your trampoline will be covered. Some homeowner’s insurance will increase with the addition of a trampoline on the property. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, statistics from the National Electric Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) cited about 98,000 trampoline-related injuries in 2009 which sent 31,000 of those people to the hospital. Some common injuries include contusions, sprains and strains. After confirming insurance coverage there are ways you can keep your family and friends safe who use the trampoline. These safety tips include: • Invest in a cover with a zipper and/or netting around your trampoline. Cover any springs, hooks and frames with pads. Make sure it... read more

Father Files Appeal against Disney on Son’s Behalf

HOPING TO EXPOSE THE DANGER OF LIABILITY WAIVERS WITH EXCULPATORY CLAUSES On November 8, 2006, Owen Peterson, then 22, was walking through a trade show at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.  On this particularly windy day, an advertising balloon, tied to a tree, blew down and struck Peterson in the back of the head.  Peterson didn’t initially experience any severe pain, but he was advised by a Disney employee to seek medical attention, with the assurance that Disney would pay any medical expenses Peterson incurred.  At the hospital, Peterson was given prescriptions for pain medication and muscle relaxers, advised the there was no apparent neurological damage, and told he could participate in the paintball tournament he planned on attending the following day, as long as he could physically tolerate the activity.  Taking the doctor’s advice, Peterson did just that. The following day, on November 9, 2006, Peterson decided he did want to play in the paintball tournament, hosted by Disney, and was presented with a liability waiver.  Without giving it much thought, Peterson signed the waiver, in preparation to compete the following day, November 10th. After the tournament ended, Peterson returned home to Charlottesville, Virginia.  Still experiencing head and neck pain for ten days following the accident, Peterson decided to seek medical attention at a local hospital when he awoke that morning unable to see across the room.  It was then that Peterson realized the incident he experienced at the Disney trade show was more serious than he initially thought.  Peterson was then diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome, and his injuries totaled $80,000.  Peterson was never reimbursed by Disney for... read more

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