Chain Ladder With Exposed Metal Base

Two-year-old boy sustained a depressed skull fracture and related traumatic injuries when he fell from a chain ladder onto an exposed metal base at the playground. The boy's foot slipped on the chain ladder, causing him to fall "head first" toward the exposed, flat metal base. The boy was accompanied by his mother. The town was engaged in willful, wanton or reckless conduct by failing to properly install, inspect and maintain the subject playground. The town knew or should have known of the exposed metal base and failed to adequately address this hazard, by either removing the metal base, burying it deeper into the ground, or adding surfacing. The ladder manufacturer was equally liable. The manufacturer was aware that playground injuries occurred every year due to inadequate surfacing. The manufacturer was also aware that a child who fell head-first onto a piece of metal could be severely injured and the more shock absorbent a surface, the greater the likelihood that the severity of an injury will be reduced.

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