The family of a 12-year-old Little League World Series player, who suffered a serious head injury after falling from a bunk bed with no safety rails, is suing the league and the company that made the bed.
According to a CNN news report, Easton Oliverson of Utah’s Snow Canyon Little League fell from the bunk bed while sleeping on Aug. 15 at the players’ dormitory in Pennsylvania. He suffered a skull fracture as a result of the bunk bed fall and had to be placed in a medically induced coma. He also underwent multiple surgeries.
Family Seeks Damages after Bunk Bed Fall Injury
Easton’s parents filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages on counts of negligence and liability. The lawsuit alleges that bedmaker Savoy Contact Furniture and Little League were negligent for not having rails on the bed, which allowed Easton to fall. The lawsuit alleges that Savoy designed, manufactured, distributed, marketed, and sold the bunk beds in a dangerous and defective condition in that they did not contain the safety measures that were needed for the safe use of the beds.
Easton’s parents, Jace and Nancy Oliverson, said their son suffered significant and permanent injuries due to the fall and injuries. Federal regulations require bunk beds to have at least two guardrails. Bunk beds are about 30 inches off the floor. The bunk bed Easton was in was 60 inches high but did not have rails, which is in violation of federal regulations.
After Easton’s fall, Little League said the bunk beds at the players’ dorms did not have safety rails. Easton was forced to undergo skull surgery due to the severity of his injuries. Little League has decided to remove all bunk beds from the dorms and have each bed frame individually on the floor. Easton was hospitalized in Pennsylvania for two weeks due to his major head injury.
Federal Bunk Bed Regulations
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), beginning in July 2000, all bunk beds manufactured or imported for sale in the United States must meet the following requirements:
- Any bed in which the underside of the foundation is more than 30 inches from the floor must have guardrails on both sides and the wall side rail must be continuous.
- Openings in the lower bunk end structures must be small enough to prevent entry by a child’s head or torso, or large enough to permit the free passage of both the child’s head and torso.
- The bed must have a label identifying the manufacturer, distributor or seller, the model number, and the date on which the bed was manufactured.
- Warnings must be posted on a label affixed to the bed and in instructions that must accompany the bed. The label warns not to place children under the age of 6 on the upper bunk and specifies mattress size.
Injuries at Sports and Summer Camps
Sports and summer camps offer enriching and fun activities for kids. But they also present dangers. Failing to take proper steps and precautions based on local, state, or federal health and safety guidelines could result in serious injuries for which the camp’s organizers can be held civilly liable. Tragic injuries or fatalities that occur in summer or sports camps often lead to personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Here are some of the common causes of accidents, injuries, and deaths in summer and sports camps:
Falls: Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents could occur in a number of situations. Bunk bed falls are just one example. Camp counselors and supervising adults must make sure that these types of hazards are addressed.
Lack of protective equipment: Some types of team sports and activities may be inherently risky. Camp organizers have a duty to provide children with the necessary safety gear such as helmets.
Lack of proper supervision: During camps, children often engage in activities with which they are not familiar. This could result in accidents and injuries. Therefore, proper supervision is key to preventing these types of incidents.
Negligent hiring: Not conducting proper background checks or failing to provide proper training to staff who will be supervising children could also result in tragic accidents or even incidents of wrongdoing such as sexual abuse.
Product Liability Issues
If your child is injured as the result of a dangerous, defective, or recalled product, in addition to filing a lawsuit against the camp organizers, you may also be able to hold the manufacturer of the product accountable through a defective product lawsuit. Manufacturers of products have a duty and responsibility to make items that are safe for consumers. When there are dangers, they must warn consumers about those hazards.
If your child has been injured as the result of negligence on the part of camp organizers or product manufacturers, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases. It is also important that you understand your legal rights and options so you can take the right course of action for your family.