Visitor Question

Restaurant ceiling collapse…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Kansas)

My 8 year old grandson was eating at a popular restaurant chain last week. He is also a special needs child. The ceiling above him collapsed on his head and around him. He was hysterical with fear which also instilled the same fear in my almost 2 year old granddaughter, who keeps saying to this day she’s “scared” and runs over to us when she hears a loud noise.

The paramedics were called because he did complain that it hurt. In the visible examination there was no cause for alarm. However, he said that he couldn’t be 100% sure because he couldn’t see the inside. He couldn’t tell her whether or not to send him by ambulance for further evaluation, that it was her decision.

We felt he had been traumatized enough to not send him to the ER and just observe him for any further signs of injury or concern. He is the type of child who will not tell the truth if he feels pain or injury because he does not want to see a doctor or go to the hospital.

We have photographs and a witness who provided her information to the manager. Is this something worth pursuing? We don’t have any idea if the stuff from the ceiling has asbestos or any other concerns. It got all over our entire table food, etc. Nor can we be sure there is no damage to the boy. What can we do?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Without delay, seek immediate medical care. Before considering a claim against the restaurant it is imperative your granddaughter be medically evaluated and treated. Because your granddaughter has a problem speaking the truth when she thinks she will have to see a doctor, that makes it even more important she seek immediate medical and/or psychiatric care.

Hopefully, at the time the ceiling fell you or a family member spoke with management. If so, there will likely be a report of the incident. Witness statements can be strong evidence. Make sure you have the witness names and contact information. Don’t forget to obtain statements to verify what actually happened.

In the unfortunate event a doctor determines the ceiling caused some type of medical injury, especially an injury which will require further medical treatment, then you will likely have the basis of a viable personal injury claim against the restaurant.

In that case, gather your granddaughter’s medical and/or psychological records and bills, and seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation. If you find one who will accept your granddaughter’s case, you won’t have to pay any legal fees unless, and until the attorney settles the case or wins it at trial.

Learn more here: Restaurant Liability for Injuries

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

Best of luck,


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