When splash pad slip and falls result in injuries, the property owner is legally responsible for damages under premises liability laws that protect patrons.
The Dangers of Splash Pads
Over the last 20 years, splash pads have popped up in public parks, recreational areas, and commercial water parks. Also known as spray pools and rain decks, splash pads usually contain water-play features and some play structures, but don’t allow water to accumulate to any real depth. Currently, it’s estimated there are 5,000 to 10,000 public splash pads across the country.
Children are drawn to splash pads where they can run and jump through water jets, giant sprays, and bucket dumps that operate using recirculated water. While children dash to splash pads to play in the water and cool down in summer heat, parents are not always aware of serious slip and fall accidents that can occur. Because splash pads do not currently require safety regulations, slip and fall lawyers commonly witness serious injuries, including:
- Abrasions and blisters to the bottom of feet
- Cuts and bruises to arms and legs
- Facial lacerations
- Eye injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Concussions and head trauma
Splash pad injuries have one common denominator – the surfacing used on pads is usually concrete with an abrasive coating to provide traction on wet surfaces. When children fall on a splash pad, they often slide over wet surfaces before stopping. If wearing shorts or bathing suits, these falls often scrape the skin, leaving painful open wounds. In 2014, slip and fall lawyers saw 20,000 splash pad injuries that required hospital emergency room treatments.
Who’s Liable for Injuries?
When splash pad slip and falls result in injuries, liability usually falls on the property owner. Under premises liability laws, a property owner has a legal responsibility to keep the property safe and protect guests from harm.
In 2018, a Massachusetts family filed a personal injury lawsuit with a slip and fall lawyer when their two-year-old daughter’s toe was amputated in a splash pad fall. A lawsuit for close to $945,000 was filed against the park’s owner, the company that designed and installed the splash pad, and the town of Bourne, Massachusetts.
According to the lawsuit, police officers who responded to the accident witnessed caution tape to block the slide’s entrance tossed aside and a “Do Not Use” sign laying on the ground. This represented clear signs of owner negligence caused by willful, reckless behaviors.