Q: My 5 year old recently attended a party at a Play Centre where there was a small bouncy castle. No-one restricted the number of children going on it and my daughter got pushed off, causing her shoulder to become dislocated. She was in a lot of pain and unable to attend school for 6 weeks. She is still under the hospital. My wife took unpaid leave to care for her. Can we claim compensation?
A: It is possible to sue the Play Centre for negligence. As the owner/hirer of the bouncy castle, the Play Centre has a relationship with the children as the users and it is obvious that there is at least some risk of injury. This means that the Play Centre has a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of the children using the bouncy castle. This duty was breached by failure to properly supervise to prevent rough play and overcrowding. This failure led to your daughter being injured. This means you have a basis to pursue a claim on her behalf.
The Play Centre ought to have observed the British and European Standards (BS EN) for inflatable play equipment. The Standards specifically specify that operators (the Play Centre) should have at least one employee to watch the activity constantly and to ensure that the equipment is not overloaded with users. Whilst these Standards do not have legal status, they are an important factor in demonstrating the lack of care taken by the Play Centre.
You could therefore make a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering caused to your daughter along with any other losses. These losses could include your wife's lost earnings, the cost of travelling to and from the hospital and anything else that has resulted from the accident. You should take legal advice as soon as possible.