I see articles like this one in the Post-Dispatch all the time:
Long story short, a woman seriously injures her knee when the slide she was going down pops her up and she catches her knee. Then read the comments at the end of the story (I know, I know….dont feed the trolls…). People say things like “this is why we can’t have nice things” and “another winner in the lawsuit lottery…” These people, candidly, are just flat-out wrong.
The City Museum here in St. Louis is a great place. It’s currently #4 out of 200+ things to do in St. Louis on TripAdvisor, bested only by the Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, and the Cathedral Basilica. Bob Cassily, the founder of the City Museum, was an interesting guy with crazy ideas and the gumption to go out and build them. Good for him.
BUT, if you invite paying customers to your place of business, you better make sure that place of business is safe. And this slide wasn’t. Nor are many of the areas in the museum. Part of the “charm” of the Museum is its wacky, hodgepodge of rides, slides, tunnels, climbing areas, and such. I mean, look at this place:
If those areas aren’t thought through in the design phase (spoiler: most of them weren’t), then there are bound to be problems.
In this case, the State of Missouri previously told the Museum to remove the bump that caused this woman to be popped up. The City Museum declined to fix it. An injury happens. Fortunately, the injured woman here “only” had a knee injury. Over the years, the museum has dealt with more significant injuries, including multiple children who have fallen and sustained significant head injuries.
Business and property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for patrons and visitors. If they don’t, and someone gets injured, the business owner, or, more likely, his/her insurance carrier is responsible for the resulting damages. It’s not a lottery, it’s not a frivolous lawsuit, it’s negligence, it’s carelessness, and…It’s the law. I routinely help clients injured in these types of cases. Years ago, I represented a client injured going down a different slide at the City Museum. I also routinely advise business owners about risk management, insurance issues, and insurance coverage. Call me if you need help or advice.