Small Child Rescued By Mother After Falling Down Manhole At Union Playground in Kawameeh Park
UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY (September 24, 2021) – A boy was rescued after falling through a manhole at Kawameeh Park in Union.
Union officials are saying that the incident took place on Thursday, September 23rd. A mother and her young toddler were playing at Kawameeh Park when the child fell into an open manhole.
The toddler fell into sewage which was up to his chin. The mother called 911 and quickly jumped in to rescue the boy. By the time the Union Fire Department arrived at the scene both were out of the manhole.
There were evaluated by EMS and taken to a nearby hospital. A full investigation into the Kawameeh Park accident in Union remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Union City Manhole Accidents At Playgrounds
The Stanford Children’s Hospital has estimated that nearly 2.2 million children under 14 are treated in emergency rooms every year after falling. Around 200,000 of these accidents that require emergency care occured at playgrounds. Half of those accidents involve children between the ages of 5 to 9. Playground falls typically involve the equipment that children play with including:
- Jungle gyms
- Monkey bars
Determining liability for any accident at a playground can be difficult. When a child falls from a public jungle gym there typically won’t be any liability for the owner of the playground. A common defense from civil claims is the assumption of risk doctrine. In other words, when someone engages in a risky activity and is injured this will typically diminish their ability to be successful in a civil claim. However, the owner of a playground may be liable for an accident on their property that arose from a defect or dangerous condition on the property.
Property owners in New Jersey have a legal responsibility to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Under New Jersey law, a person or entity in control of a property may owe a duty of care to persons frequenting that property depending on their status as a invitee, licensee, or trespasser. This also applies to cities and local municipalities that typically own and must therefore maintain playgrounds. There are a number of ways that a playground could be in a dangerous condition.
- Manholes could be left open. Occasionally workers may need to work in or around manholes. When this happens there should be warning signs and fencing around the grate to protect people from falling down.
- Equipment on the playground could be in disrepair. Poorly maintained equipment could collapse and injure children.
- A school could be liable for the negligent supervision of children who are injured in a playground.
A city in New Jersey could be liable for accidents at a playground if the accident was due to some dangerous condition with the playground. The family of any child that was injured in a New Jersey playground may be able to seek justice through a bodily injury claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Many victims may not realize the full extent of their injuries until several months or years after an accident. A premises liability attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Liability In Union City Manhole Accidents At The Kawameeh Park Playground
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our best wishes to the child involved in this accident at Kawameeh Park in Union. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. Were it not for the heroics of the mother this could have turned out much worse.
This incident also raises a number of important safety questions. Why was this manhole left open? Who was the last person or entity to use the manhole? Could this incident have been prevented? It is our sincere hope that measures are put in place to prevent similar accidents.