Liability among defendants being debated in suit surrounding boy's alleged fall on Lititz playground

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 29, 2019

PHILADELPHIA – The parents of a seven-year-old child allegedly injured on a playground ladder in Lititz are litigating against the park in federal court, just as the park believes that its designers and the manufacturers of the ladder are liable for the events in question instead.

Lucas Wiest (a minor represented by his parents Scott Wiest and Vicki Wiest) of Cherry Hill, N.J. filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on March 15 versus Lititz Springs Park, of Lititz.

Per the litigation, on Aug. 29, 2015, Lucas was playing on a horizontal, curved ladder at Lititz Springs Park – when he was then caused to fall from the ladder and landed on his elbows, fracturing them both instantly. Though Lucas’s left elbow only required casting, the suit states that his right elbow was severely injured and needed surgical repair.

More specifically, Lucas suffered a Type 1 supracondylar humerus fracture of the left arm, a completely-displaced flexion type supracondylar humerus fracture of the right arm with ulnar nerve palsy which required a closed-reduction and percutaneous pinning surgery and severe nervous shock.

The Wiest plaintiffs argue the primary defendant failed to provide sufficient depth for the wood mulch on the ground beneath the ladder, permitted the ladder to measure 8 feet above the ground surface, in violation of national safety standards, and failing to warn plaintiffs that the ground surface underneath ladder was not safe, among other allegations.

For a lone count of negligence, the primary plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $75,000, plus costs, delay damages and a trial by jury in this matter.

However, on May 21, Lititz Springs Park filed its own third-party complaint against Playworld Systems, Inc. of Lewisburg, George Ely Associates, Inc. of Carlisle, John Does 1-5 and ABC Corporations 1-5.

Lititz Springs Park both denies its own liability and alleges that the third-party defendants were liable and responsible for the negligent acts which later led to Lucas’s fall and subsequent injuries.

In its own suit and for counts of negligence, strict products liability, contribution and indemnification, the third-party plaintiff is seeking contribution and/or indemnification for all sums against third-party plaintiff in favor of primary plaintiffs, along with attorneys’ fees, interest, and costs, and such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

The primary plaintiffs are represented by James D. Rosen of Rosen Schafer & DiMeo, in Philadelphia.

The primary defendant and third-party plaintiff is represented by James J. Green of Bardsley Benedict & Cholden, both also in Mount Laurel, N.J.

The third-party defendant is represented by John Wesley Croumer and Paul W. Grego of Post & Schell, in Lancaster.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 5:19-cv-02178

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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