Coweta Designer Dismisses Skate Park Liability Fears
When children use facilities like skate parks, waterparks and trampoline facilities, the question of liability in the result of an accident is often raised.
It’s an issue that was recently discussed by the designer of a skate park in Coweta County, reported the Newnan Times-Herald.
Skate parks are often made of hard materials like concrete. When kids fall off their skateboards, they can get hurt. The mere fact a child is hurt does not mean a manufacturer or a local authority can be sued.
In March, Tony Misiano of New Line Skateparks, said the liability issue is a common misconception.
He pointed out Georgia has a law that encourages cities and counties to set aside land for sports he described as “inherent risk activities.”
Misiano said people taking part in an inherent risk activity use a park at their own risk and nobody one can be held liable for injuries at a skate park.
However, he said liability issues can arise when there is an admission fee and a facility is monitored.
Skate park liability can be compared to that of the operators of a swimming pool. If a local authority, hotel or apartment complex has a lifeguard at its pool, it may be held liable for drowning and other injuries if that lifeguard fails to take action to help swimmers in trouble. However, when there is no lifeguard swimmers are warned to use a pool at their own risk.
Misiano was visiting Coweta to give the presentation on possible locations for a new skateboard park. Before his visit, he examined satellite images of parks in Newnan and Coweta to find potential locations at existing parks that could be future skate parks. He said he found plenty because these facilities take up little space.
Skateboarding is an inherently dangerous pursuit but that does not allow designers to be lax with safety. If a skate park or another facility is of a defective or an unacceptably dangerous design, a manufacturer might be held liable for injuries even if people are taking part in a high-risk activity.
For instance, the designers and operators of the world’s tallest water slide face a civil lawsuit and criminal charges over the decapitation of a child in Kansas.
The co-owner of a water park who is accused of rushing the waterslide into service and a designer accused of poor planning were charged with murder over the decapitation of a 10-year-old boy on the ride two years ago, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Three men connected with Texas-based Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts and the park in Kansas City, Kansas were indicted by a Kansas grand jury, along with the park and the construction company that constructed the ride.
Every year thousands of young people are injured skateboarding. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states more than 25,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year with skateboarding-related injuries. More than half of those injuries are suffered by children under 15.
Common skateboarding injuries include fractures and sprains, contusions and abrasions. Sadly, head injuries have resulted in the deaths of some skateboarders. Always wear protective equipment on a skateboard including a helmet and avoid skateboarding on public highways.
If you have been hurt in an accident in the Newnan area, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyer at (404) 913-1529.