blog home Product Liability Are Manufacturers Liable for Unsafe Playground Equipment?

By Renee Nordstrand on December 4, 2017

colorful playground equipment

More than 200,000 children are injured every year in the U.S. on playground equipment, particularly climbing equipment. Injuries to children in California can be quite severe, and include paralysis and even fatality.

Depending on the situation, a manufacturer or owner of the equipment can certainly be liable for injuries that occur to children due to unsafe playground equipment. Proving negligence to establish liability is quite difficult, however, so you certainly want an experienced lawyer on your side before attempting to do so.

Who’s to Blame?

In order to determine whether a civil claim will be allowed or denied, you must determine one major issue: negligence. To prove liability or fault you must prove that a person or company acted in a way that a reasonable person would not have. The legal definition of negligence in California is an act (or failure to act) when you owe a duty to another individual. In this case, children.

In order to prove that a playground equipment manufacturer was negligent, you must show that the company was aware or should have reasonably been aware of some kind of defect or flaw that resulted in an injury. It is not enough that part of the equipment broke. You must be able to prove that the manufacturer knew or should have known that part was faulty in some way, or did not meet standards or regulations for such products. Proving negligence is very difficult and often internal memos, and a lawyer must uncover information such as reports of tests and analysis by engineers. An owner may be liable for the faulty equipment if they know or should have known of the problem and failed to timely repair it.

Why an Attorney Can Help

You need an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side to oversee and coordinate your case. While your first instinct may be that the manufacturer was at fault, a full investigation might reveal that liability rests elsewhere or in fact is shared. For example, evidence may show that a manufacturer failed to properly design or build, but also that the area around the equipment was not properly maintained or built. This can make the city or a private company that owns the playground negligent and liable for injuries and damages. In addition to negligence, you must also show that the negligent behavior directly contributed to the accident and injury.

This area of the law is complicated and you should not proceed without the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. If your child was injured by playground equipment, call us at NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022.

Posted in: Product Liability