As the weather warms up and summer rolls in, flocks of people will begin to make their way to water parks around Indiana where they can enjoy time with family and cool off, or seek the thrill of a roller coaster or a water slide. While most of these trips are packed with fun memories, these parks are often unable to guarantee visitors’ safety, and should be held accountable if a ride or attraction causes a visitor’s injuries.
According to a recent appellate opinion, a plaintiff brought a products liability suit against a local water park after he was injured while going down a water slide. The plaintiff inadvertently slipped from a seated position on an inner tube onto his stomach, and when he entered the pool below, his feet hit the bottom and he fractured his pelvis and hip. Despite the evidence of injury presented by the plaintiff, the trial court ruled in favor of the defense on the products liability claim.
On appeal, the defense argued that the plaintiff’s product liability claims should fail because the water park provides its patrons with a service, rather than a product. The park argued that guests pay admission to obtain a “service” involving the use of water slides rather than paying a fee to primarily use the water slides. Thus, according to the defendant, the plaintiff’s product liability claim was not a viable theory of recovery.
The court, however, ultimately rejected the water park’s argument, reversed the trial court’s product liability decision by ruling in favor of the plaintiff, categorizing the water slide as a product rather than a service. Because the defense makes its water slides available for direct use by its guests and visitors are wholly reliant on the park to inspect and provide a safe product, the court held that the park bore a heightened responsibility to its patrons. In light of these facts, the court concluded that applying a product liability theory was consistent with the goal of protecting consumers from defective or dangerous products.
In Indiana, all personal injury claims have a statute of limitations restricting the amount of time you can file a lawsuit. For product liability claims, Indiana allows for individuals to bring claims two years from the date of the injury. Establishing liability in a timely manner and successfully recovering compensation for a client’s injuries can often be complicated and require a detailed understanding of Indiana’s product liability laws. This is one of the many reasons that potential plaintiffs are advised to work with an Indiana personal injury attorney who can navigate the complexities of these cases with ease.
Have You Been Injured By a Dangerous or Defective Product?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured while using a defective or dangerous product in Indiana, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse, LLP, assist you. With decades of experience successfully handling Indiana products liability cases, the lawyers at our law firm have recovered significant compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact our office at 317-269-2509 to discuss your potential Indiana personal injury lawsuit with an attorney at our law firm.