The parents of a three-year-old girl who died in a tragic accident while at her preschool have now sued both the preschool and the church that operated the school. The incident happened in Newark, an Alameda County suburb in the East Bay Area.
According to reports, the girl suffered a significant, and ultimately fatal, traumatic brain injury when the playset she was enjoying suddenly fell over on her. The weight of the structure also pinned her to the ground.
There were two other children on the playset when it collapsed. These children were not physically hurt although they apparently witnessed their peer's injury. The structure has since been removed from the preschool.
An investigation into the affair revealed a couple of safety issues with the structure which, had they been addressed, may have prevented this tragedy. For one, the structure was not bolted down, making it more likely to topple. Moreover, the structure was on top of a hard surface rather than the required cushioned surface. A soft surface breaks the blow of falls and other accidents.
The parents of the child, who have now sued, have stated that they believe what happened to their daughter was entirely preventable. They indicated that their story only serves to reinforce how important it is for those who take on the care of children to follow California's laws and safety regulations, as they really are there to prevent tragedies like this one.
While the parents may be going forward on a number of legal theories, the case should serve as an important reminder that businesses, including schools, need to keep their premises in a safe condition. Not doing so could mean victims have the option of filing a premises liability lawsuit.