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Are Cities Responsible for Inspecting Playground Equipment?

There are several scenarios in which poorly maintained playground equipment may result in injuries. Whether the city is responsible for inspecting playground equipment is an important question for a number of reasons – not least among them a legal mechanism known as the ante litem notice, which places time limits on notification. 

Before you can file a lawsuit against a government entity, you must first notify that entity of the potential claim. With that in mind, it is important to establish whether the city is likely to be held liable for any accident that occurs on a playground. These cases are complicated, so if you believe the city is responsible for the maintenance of playground equipment, consulting with a personal injury lawyer is highly advisable. 

Premises Liability

Entities that operate playgrounds have a duty of care to the children who visit their property and use the equipment. Avoiding foreseeable dangers would include inspecting playground equipment in accordance with safety recommendations. Keep in mind, there are elements of premise liability theory you must prove when attempting to recover damages for injuries. These include determining the following:

  • The name of the individual or entity in charge of the property
  • Whether the injured child is a person expected to be using the property
  • If the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care
  • If the child was injured in a way that was foreseeable
  • If carelessness on the part of the defendant was a major contributing cause of the child’s injury

Establishing liability may play the most crucial role in any attempted lawsuit relating to who is responsible for inspecting playground equipment. Time is of the essence. You should, at your first opportunity, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide expert advice and who knows how to best proceed with your case. 

Negligent Supervision

Negligent supervision may also come into play when inspecting playground equipment. If playground equipment has been inspected and deemed unsafe, certain individuals may have a duty of care to ensure the safety of children. Teachers and staff at a playground are acting in loco parentis, which means they are taking the role of care provider in place of parents. 

Children potentially suffering injury while playing on defective playground equipment is a foreseeable hazard that can cause harm. For example, if a swing is inspected and a defect is found, teachers and staff at a school should have an effective system for reporting the issue and ensuring children are supervised, if necessary, to avoid accidents occurring. 

H. Lehman Franklin, P.C.

Due to the potential complications surrounding filing suit on a city for failing to inspect playground equipment, you are invited to consult with the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C., to discuss the details of your child’s accident. The initial consultation is free of charge, so take advantage of access to our extensive legal knowledge. 

You can reach the offices of H. Lehman Franklin P.C. at 912-764-9616 or via email at info@hlfranklin.com today if you have further questions about whether or not your city is responsible for inspecting playground equipment.