A now-12-year-old Temecula boy who fell from a fast-food restaurant’s play structure and struck his head, causing brain damage, was awarded a $20 million settlement from the franchise’s parent company.
The money was awarded to Jacob Buckett and his sister, Isabelle, who was 5 at the time of Jacob’s fall at the Temecula restaurant on Aug. 4, 2005.
The structure was inside the restaurant and there was no rubber beneath the bars, just tile, according to Jacob’s attorney.
The defendants, the restaurant franchisee, parent company and playground manufacturer, were not named because of the settlement’s confidentiality clause but according to the Web site momlogic.com, the restaurant was a Burger King.
Delta Marketing Inc., the installer of the playground, was also sued.
Jacob suffered damage to his parietal lobe and his left front lobe, as well as injuries to his lungs when he fell off the bars, which looked like a fireman’s pole and monkey bars.
Although the defendants contended that the responsibility for watching the boy was the father’s, Aitken said that parents have an expectation of safety when they take their children to established playgrounds.
The attorney also contended that the restaurant and installer should have placed rubber beneath the structure, rather than leaving the tile floor.
Warning signs were not posted at the particular restaurant where Jacob fell, though other restaurants in the chain had such signs posted.
After his initial treatment, Jacob was placed on a ventilator and stayed in a hospital for more than a month, before being admitted to a rehabilitation hospital for six weeks.
Because of complications when a ventricle shunt was placed, he had to be readmitted to Children’s Hospital in San Diego for two more months.
The boy is still undergoing rehabilitation and has significant brain damage.
The sister was awarded money in the settlement because she suffered negligent infliction of emotional distress.
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Personal Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.