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Event organizers and operators often liable for accident costs

A company event or community carnival represents the chance for a good time, but people in West Virginia should remain attentive for hazards at recreational events. The following example of an injury at a company picnic highlights the litigation that sometimes results when a good time ends in the hospital.

The company-sponsored event included a rented bungee-trampoline device. A man whose wife worked for the company chose to play on the trampoline. The activity required him to be harnessed to bungee cords connected to poles rising from the bottom of the trampoline. While he jumped, an operator took actions to increase the height of his bounce. However, a misjudgment by the operator hyperextended the man's left arm and ruptured his distal biceps tendon.

After $8,500 worth of surgery and physical therapy, he continued to have pain and reduced arm function. To recover damages, his family sued the trampoline manufacturer, the event venue, and the companies that rented the equipment and hired the operator. The lawsuit claimed that the event organizers should not have allowed the risky activity, the manufacturer did not provide sufficient warnings and the operator lacked adequate training. The settlement awarded the plaintiffs over $300,000 with the bulk of the compensation coming from one rental company although all parties were held responsible to some extent.

A person hurt at a public or private event might have sufficient cause to make a premises liability claim in order to collect compensation. Seeking the representation of an attorney could prove helpful because more than one party might bear responsibility for an accident. A legal obligation to provide a safe environment could apply to each party involved. An attorney could prepare a lawsuit and engage in negotiations for a settlement.

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