$1,450,000 SETTLEMENT FOR INJURY TO 7 YEAR OLD GIRL CAUSED BY A LARGE DEFECTIVE MOVABLE BARBECUE GRILL IN A PUBLIC PARK IN SAN LORENZO, CALIFORNIA
$1,450,000 settlement for 7 year old girl injured in a public park barbecue in the Hayward Area Recreation Park in San Lorenzo, California.
In the afternoon of August 2, 2018, plaintiff, a seven year old child, was attending a soft ball practice with her father and older sister. The girl went to a barbecue next to the softball field to play with two other young girls. They were playing elevator on a large barbecue that had a heavy grill that can easily be raised and lowered in a controlled manner by turning the large control wheel. A braking system was supposed to prevent an uncontrolled descent of the grill. As one of the girls raised the grill to the top, the grill suddenly plunged downward with the 7 year old standing on the grill. The 7 year old girl had long hair that was caught and drawn into the spinning axle above her head. As the heavy grill with her on it plunged rapidly to the bottom, a portion of her scalp was torn away from her skull, causing a severe injury with disfiguring results. The braking mechanism was broken and therefore failed to stop the heavy grill from plunging to the bottom of the barbecue and ripping off a large portion of her scalp. The park district had a policy that required the barbecue wheel to be locked when not in use for cooking. The barbecue wheel was left unlocked which allowed the girls to play on the barbecue and raise the grill. If the barbecue had been locked as required, the accident would never have occurred.
The defective barbecue was a dangerous condition. It was foreseeable that the large barbecue with its unique mechanisms would attract young children to play on it. The girls could not have accessed the moving parts of the barbecue if the barbecue was locked as required.
The 7 year old girl suffered a 10 cm x 10 cm avulsion to her scalp. She underwent multiple procedures and skin grafts to attempt to repair her scalp. She underwent multiple implantation of tissue expanders to attempt to close the large scalp defect. This caused excessive fears and anxiety with personality change and she requires extensive psycho therapy. A diagnosis of PTSD was made and she has been left with scarring, thinning hair and a bald spot.