The bounce house is a mainstay of children’s birthday parties and public events for families. With bounce houses, as with any other similar device, injuries are possible, such as bumps, bruises, concussions and broken bones, but usually these injuries occur due to things like collisions with other kids. No child nor parent expects a bounce house to fly away in the wind, but that’s exactly what happened in early April in Taylors, South Carolina.
Springwell Church in Taylors was hosting a festival on a calm day when the winds suddenly picked up and lifted a bounce house into the air. As adults chased after and grabbed onto the bounce house, which had five kids inside, the bounce house struck and knocked down power lines. Fortunately, the power lines did not cause a fire. However, two of the children did suffer serious injuries. The other three suffered minor injuries.
COULD ANYONE BE HELD LIABLE FOR AN ACCIDENT LIKE THIS ONE?
According to workers and witnesses at the church, the bounce house was secured to the ground by stakes that initially were successful in keeping the bounce house anchored to the ground. However, the stakes were insufficient to keep the bounce house down during the heavy gusts of wind that day.
Could this mean that the bounce house manufacturer or even the church could be held liable for the injuries sustained by the children? If it could be proven that whoever set up the bounce house did not properly secure the bounce house to the ground despite the weather, then that person could potentially be liable. If it could be proven that the bounce house was negligently designed or prone to danger in wind, then perhaps the company could be held liable. However, sometimes, these things just happen – Force Majeure, or an act of God in legal terms. To really know, an attorney would have to investigate the case.