Kansas Accident Shines Spotlight on Inflatable Rides

Have you ever been to a carnival, or even a child’s birthday party and wondered just how safe those moonwalks, bouncy castles and other portable ‘rides’ are? According to a recent article in the Wichita Eagle, a Kansas court case looks set to bring those issues into focus.

According to the newspaper, the civil lawsuit was filed last month by the parents of a five-year-old boy who died after being thrown from an inflatable ride called King of the Hill. The newspaper describes this as being “designed like a large mattress – flat except for a bulge in the middle – and… surrounded by a 2-foot-high inflatable barrier.” Parents were allegedly told to place a child in the center of the ‘mattress’ and then to jump up and down themselves on the inflatable’s sides, causing the child to fly into the air. Having done this a few days earlier for the boy’s birthday party the five-year-old’s family returned to the same amusement park a few days later, using free passes they had received during the birthday celebration. On this second visit, however, the child was launched over the inflatable barrier. He landed head-first on the facility’s concrete floor, resulting in his death.

The parents also charge that the ride was “underinflated and unsupervised” and that the operator ignored the manufacturer’s recommendation that the ride was for children ages 8 and up.

Any child’s death is, of course, an enormous tragedy. Incidents such as this, however, highlight the importance of tough enforcement mechanisms and the need, here in Oregon, to contact a Portland personal injury lawyer immediately should your child suffer an injury on a carnival ride. Accidents like the one in Kansas are particularly serious because even if they do not result in death they carry significant risk of traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury.

It is important that the operators of amusement parks and similar attractions be held accountable when their attractions are operated negligently or in an unsafe manner. Injuries to children are especially difficult for any parent or loved one to think about. If your child has been injured while visiting a carnival or amusement park, prompt consultation with an Oregon child injury lawyer is an essential first step toward protecting your family’s rights and ensuring that justice is done.

Wichita Eagle: Mother sues inflatable company over death of child