Bouncy Castles and the Legal Risk For Those Who Hire Them

It is difficult to argue that health and safety laws are now eroding the ability that many people have to enjoy themselves and live their lives with the care free attitude of old. The fact is however that personal injury law has evolved and one such case illustrates how the root of the legal principle involved in a particular case should be focused on preventing the same accident or injury occurring again.

A child who suffered a “very serious and traumatic brain injury” when he was accidentally kicked on the left side of his head by another child whilst on an inflatable bouncy castle has won a claim for compensation thought to be worth one million pounds.

A High Court Judge ruled that there had been a “shortfall in supervision” on the part of a couple, who hired the bouncy castle for their children’s birthday party.

The injured child, aged 11 years old at the time of the accident, suffered a fractured skull when a 15 year old accidentally kicked his head whilst they were performing somersaults on the inflatable castle. The High Court was told that constant supervision was required under the terms of the hire contract but that at the time of the accident Mrs Perry had her back to the bouncy castle.

The claimants QC advised after the hearing that the ruling created a legal precedent that “constant 100% supervision” must now be given whenever children play on bouncy castles or other inflatables. Giving the defendants leave to appeal the judge recognised the potential significance of the judgment, not merely for the parents but for others who operate this equipment.

A recent government survey estimated that there were between 3,500 and 4000 accidents on bouncy castles last year. Equipment is in most cases manufactured to the highest standard and hire companies work hard to comply with current legislation but it is now absolutely imperative that inflatable play equipment is constantly supervised and that all operating instructions are complied with.

If you or your child have suffered any type of injury involving inflatable, playground or fairground equipment please contact the Personal Injury Team at Winston Solicitors on 0845 890 2277