Bouncy castle couple convicted.
In March 2016 there had been alerts of an incoming weather front which would bring strong winds. In the way of the storm was a bouncy castle at a fairground in Harlow. When blasts of wind reached 36mph, the inflatable equipment blew away, with seven-year-old Summer Grant on it. It hit a tree and ricocheted 300 meters down a hill, causing serious and traumatic injuries to Summer’s head, neck and chest.
The supervisor of the equipment gave chase down the hill as he saw it blow away, unfastened the emergency exit and put the little girl in the recovery position. Unfortunately, Summer, passed away later in hospital due to her injuries.
For what reason did it happen?
William and Shelby Thurston were responsible for the operation of the bouncy castle. On examination, it was discovered that they had underestimated the weather and conditions also, neglected to guarantee the equipment was sufficiently tied down.
In court, William & Shelby Thurston denied liability but were convicted by majority verdicts of ten to two after a three-week trial and eleven hours of deliberation by the jury. They were each sentenced to three years in prison for gross negligence manslaughter and an extra year for an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
This is not the first-time inflatables have blown away with serious consequences. The Dreamspace inflatable art experience blew away in high winds at Chester-le-Street in 2006, resulting in two deaths and more than 20 injuries. Strong winds are a known hazard to all those involved with inflatable structures.
Although for this situation the staff operating the I bouncy castle were directly implicated, other cases, for example, the Dreamspace accident, event coordinators and others were drawn into the legal action which followed.
If you are thinking about hiring inflatable equipment of any kind for your event, there are certain things to be aware of.
- Tip 1. You must always follow the instructions you are given by the hire company.
- Tip 2. A few companies may offer staff to remain with and oversee the gear. This might be a great choice, particularly in case you’re arranging a large event or don’t have the manpower to give to legitimate levels of supervision.
- Tip 3. Check weather forecasts before and during the use of the inflatable equipment. On the off chance that they’re I not appropriate, quit using it.
- Note. The hire company should give you information on the limitations of use including strength of wind and number of anchorages needed.
- Tip 4. Check to make sure you are adequately insured; as additional cover may be needed for an event.