Fencing in Public Park Causes Injury to Child

Michael Talve, CEO

Written by
— Updated on September 25, 2017

This case involves an injury to a child on a skateboard. The plaintiff, an eleven-year-old female, was riding her skateboard past a public park. The park had a green, iron gate that bordered it. At a certain point, due to improper maintenance, the gate stuck out onto the sidewalk, but because of the green coloring, was slightly camouflaged. While the plaintiff was skateboarding, she crashed into the part of the fence that was sticking out and broke three ribs, fractured her arm, and sustained a concussion.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Should the fence have been repaired, or had a clear warning indicating the hazard?

Expert Witness Response

In most cases, when on public property, hazards have to be clearly highlighted. In this case, the maintenance records of the park, including the original state of the fence, and how often hazards were repaired, are critical. Also, any recordings of prior incidences would be important to determine how foreseeable injuries would be. Additional factors would include the status of other parts of the fence, the exact color of the fence, and any other particulars about the location. Still, based on the information presented, the city appears to be liable. I have over thirty-four years of experience working on different issues in fencing and other construction-based projects. In addition to my construction work, I have worked with a number of municipalities on projects for public spaces.

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