Chain basketball net causes injury...

by Justin
(Seattle, WA)

The school put up chain basketball nets at our son's elementary school. This is an 8' hoop and somehow one side of the net came loose and was hanging down. Our son jumped up to touch the net and gashed his right ring finger. He received 10 stitches at the ER.

This incident happened on the first day that the nets were installed. Another child did the same thing, but only received a minor cut. The nets were taken down the same day. I'm not sure if these nets are even legal to put up anymore due to the danger that they pose.

Do we have a case against the school to pay for my son's medical bills? Any information on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Chain basketball net causes injury...":

Justin (Seattle, WA):

To have a viable personal injury claim against the school will require a showing of negligence. This would require the school to have known (or should have known) the chain basketball nets were dangerous, and with that knowledge, ignored the danger.

It is unlikely the school knew the nets were dangerous, especially if the nets were purchased at a retail store in the Seattle area, or were purchased from a company well known for selling chain basketball nets.

The next issue is the school's duty to have researched the nets to see if they posed a danger to students. If the school purchased them from a local retailer or company known for selling the nets, there would be a question of the school's duty to do an in-depth investigation of the nets and their possible danger prior to purchasing them.

Whether that investigation would have been warranted is difficult to answer, and would include a discussion of whether or not the school previously purchased goods from the seller of the nets, or if the school had been warned by other schools, employees, or others about the nets' danger.

If after doing a reasonable investigation, the school was not able to find any evidence of the nets' danger, then the school's duty to further investigate the nets might not have been warranted.

The next issue is the school's response to the injuries. It appears as soon as they realized the boys were injured, they took down the nets. Doing so would be in the school's favor.

Under the circumstances, asking the school to reimburse you for your son's medical bills would not be inappropriate. This is especially true as your son did not contribute to his own injury by using the nets in a manner in which they were not intended.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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