Dozens of children and two adults were injured after a platform collapsed at an obstacle course in a San Diego gym on November 11. San Diego’s Vault PK is an interactive indoor gym, designed for children interested in full-body movement sports like gymnastics. The parkour is a hot spot for active kids, and is almost always abuzz with the running and bouncing of wide-eyed youngsters.
The weekend of the incident was especially packed as parents handed in Groupons for a significant discount for the 3-hour, “kids’ night out” event. The event, geared towards soon-to-be athletes aged 5-14, consisted of an obstacle course modeled after “American Ninja Warrior.” Nearly 150 children ran and jumped freely though the parkour while Vault PK staff members supervised the event.
The event coincided with a child’s birthday party, where pizza was being served atop of a 10-foot-by-30-foot wooden viewing platform. When about a third of these children gathered atop of the platform, the structure and stairwell beneath completely collapsed, crushing those underneath. Parents were alerted to the collapse, and rushed to find their children bleeding and crying. In total, 21 children and two adults were rushed to San Diego hospitals, most suffering mild to moderate injuries. San Diego Fire-Rescue reported that at least three victims suffered spinal injuries.
Why Did This Happen?
The circumstances of this tragic incident have left parents in a state of shock, unsure what next steps to take. But what is evident, is that the building structure was not up to par, and the incident could have been prevented, according to local new reports. City investigators determined that the gym was not issued various required permits, including permission to build the structure that collapsed. Furthermore, a long list of violations was exposed, including the absence of fire sprinklers, and insufficient number of exits and number of bathrooms. The evidence suggests that the gym itself was improperly built, and improperly managed by crowding too much weight onto a platform unable to support it.
Who Should be Held Responsible?
While the business played its part by putting its patrons at risk, it’s the insurance companies who will be held financially responsible for the damage done to the injured children and their families. When it comes to the potential for major financial loss in the event of a lawsuit, many business owners purchase general liability insurance, which includes premises liability. With this protection, the business’s financial risks and liability are transferred to the insurer. Therefore, most lawsuits derived from this accident will place the blame on the insurer, rather than the business. Dealing with insurance companies without help can be a strenuous pursuit to overcome. That’s where the experience of dedicated attorneys come in.
What Can be Done Now?
Attorney Jordon Harlan knows that the legal process can be overwhelming, but with the right expertise on your side, this battle does not have to be fought alone. Harlan says, “When your child is injured in an accident, the gamesmanship of insurance companies should be the last thing on your mind.” Now is the time to focus on what is truly important- helping your loved one recover from mental anguish and injures. That’s why he has dedicated his practice to “helping clients just like you to overcome tremendous odds, grief, and pain, while helping you get your life and the lives of your loved ones back on track.”