Justia Lawyer Rating
Maryland Association for Justice
American Association for Justice
Super Lawyers

Minor Child Injured at Maryland Commercial Recreational Facility

The injury or death of any individual is tragic, most especially for the family and friends of the victim, but to see a child maimed or killed as a result of a preventable accident makes for a truly sad and regrettable occurrence, and something nobody would have a family bear. For parents and grandparents everywhere, one of the most horrendous nightmares is when an innocent child sustains a devastating injury; and, in many cases, not only the injury itself but the physical and emotional pain of recovery can often extend a family's ordeal weeks or even months after their child was badly hurt.

Serious injuries experienced by children as a result of another person's careless or negligent actions can certainly be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Here in Maryland, some negligence-related accidents take place at recreational facilities such as amusement parks, water parks and other paid amusement attractions. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our personal injury attorneys have the legal training and courtroom experience to help injured victims and their families recover damages caused by careless amusement concessions and commercial recreational operations.

While adults can and do suffer injury at amusement facilities, water parks and indoor recreation facilities, young children are much more susceptible, and typically more vulnerable to being hurt as a result of a recreational facility's negligence. If a parent or guardian, with the assistance of a skilled injury lawyer, can establish negligence on the part of an individual or organization, the injured youngster will likely be entitled to compensatory damages for his or her for the injuries. Depending on the extent or severity of those injuries, there may even be a need for extended rehabilitation and long-term care for the child as she goes through life.

Maryland Legislators Act to Protect Consumer Rights

In the late spring of 2024, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation prohibiting the use of liability waivers at recreational facilities; subsequently signed by Governor Wes Moore, the new law was a significant victory for the state's consumer safety advocates, effectively ending the practice of pre-injury contractual waivers at commercial recreational facilities throughout Maryland. Prior to the law being enacted, commercial recreational facilities like trampoline parks and rock-climbing facilities could require a paying customer to sign away his or her right to hold the recreational operation legally accountable for injury or death resulting from the facility’s negligence.

The new law declared “pre-injury” contractual waivers of liability to be void and unenforceable. As public policy, this legislation ensures that commercial recreational businesses may be held to the same standards of “reasonable care” as other businesses and professionals in the state of Maryland.

From the point of view of consumer safety, the new law put commercial recreation businesses on notice with the expectation that these operations will place renewed focus on the safety of their patrons, as well as uphold their duty to act with reasonable care in their daily operations and interactions with those paying customers. Taking effect October 1, 2024, the law defines the term “Recreational Facility” to include gymnasiums, swimming pools, commercial recreational facilities, commercial athletic facilities and amusement attractions. It should be mentioned that the law does not apply to health club services rendered to adults (when those services occur over a period three [3] months or longer); or to hotels unless the hotel provides a recreational facility to the general public. It also excludes state or local governmental units that lease land or facilities to a business that operates a commercial recreational facility.

Regardless of the existence and/or enforcement of any consumer safety law, there will always be instances where an individual — adult or child — is injured as a result of some type of negligence on the part of a business. Whether due to the actions of an untrained employee or arising out of corporate indifference, negligence or the flouting of consumer protection laws or statutes that that has resulted in injury to a young child, teen or other minor should not go unaddressed. The seasoned attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, are ready and able to help personal injury victims pursue legal action against a negligent Maryland recreational facility.

Increased Likelihood of Injuries to Minors and Children

Amusement parks, swimming pools and other commercial recreation operations are often the scene of accidents involving young kids, teens and other minor children, especially due to the higher percentage of children at these locations, along with the frequent chaos that ensues when kids play and have fun together. Sadly, serious injuries occasionally occur, which is why victims often seek qualified legal representation.

Aside from the ability of the victim's parents to recover damages associated with their child's physical injuries — hospital fees, doctor bills, physical therapy, etc. — minors who have suffered injury through another party's negligence can often receive compensation for the “pain and suffering” they may experience as a result of that original harm. This is very important because some families can become financially burdened following a child's serious injury accident. It is not uncommon for parents to take on substantial debt in order to obtain the proper and necessary medical treatments for their young child.

The law provides plaintiffs the ability to seek compensation from a negligent party(s) for such expenses, as well as to provide compensation for potential future medical care that a seriously injured minor may require later in life. The injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, have helped Maryland families for more than 20 years in seeking the compensation that they deserve.

Teenage Spinal Cord Injury Victims

Nationwide, thousands of people each year face a potentially debilitating spinal cord injury, many of whom are teenagers. While car and motorcycle crashes account for a large percentage of spinal cord injuries in teens and young adults, climbing wall accidents and mishaps at trampoline parks can often result in some kind of back or neck injury.

For victims and their families, establishing negligence is the first and foremost task. For any successful personal injury lawsuit, the injured party must usually show that the defendant(s) failed in their responsibility to uphold a duty of reasonable care toward the facility's customers or patrons. Duty of care refers to an individual's responsibility to act with the same ordinary skill and care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances.

In addition to showing that the defendant was in breach of the above-mentioned duty of care, the plaintiff must also prove to the court that he was injured as a direct result of the defendant’s breach. What this means is that the victim must show he would not have been involved in the accident in the first place if the defendant had not failed to exercise this aforementioned duty of care.

Finally, establishing negligence on the part of a commercial recreational facility requires the plaintiff to present evidence of the damages that he incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Depending on the extent and severity of the particular neck or back injury, some victims may require lifelong care. In some cases, the court must consider the extent of incapacitation, loss of mobility, level of assistance needed for daily tasks, or even around-the-clock care for people someone who has suffered partial or total paralysis. Of course, an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer can help victims and their families navigate the legal process in order to obtain financial compensation commensurate with the victim's medical situation.

TBIs at Commercial Skateboard Facilities

Kids who love to skateboard can cause their parents a great deal of anxiety. Using the proper safety equipment is a must, though even the most cautious skateboarders can end up with a serious head injury. Traumatic injuries to the brain (TBIs) can be devastating for both the victim and his or her family — life-long disability is known to result from a momentary lapse in judgement or simply a misplaced ramp or jump.

Based on studies by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1.5 million people on average are suffering with the effects of a TBI-related accident, many of them children. The personal injury team at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, have decades of combined legal experience in evaluating TBI, head and neck, and spinal cord injury cases; our attorneys represent injury victims throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas with the compassion and professional attention each one deserves.

Advocating for Kids following Playground-related TBIs

Traumatic brain injury can result from any number of situations: car and boating accidents, auto-pedestrian collisions, truck-bicycle crashes and numerous other in-home and job site accidents. While parents learn early on that children are generally resilient when it comes to falls, head-related injuries call for immediate attention, and sometimes medical intervention.

Commercial amusement and play facilities are no stranger to on-premises accidents. With the new consumer protection legislation mentioned earlier, accident victims and their parents may have much better recourse following a serious, negligence-related accident. Our injury lawyers analyze each personal injury case to identify the four elements of a successful negligence case: duty, breach, causation, and damages. In the context of an amusement park or swimming pool accident, there will be a duty of care requirement that the owners of the commercial facility owed to their customers or patrons. While each case is unique, our legal staff has the training and litigation skills to help parents of injured children recover the financial damages they are due under the laws of the state of Maryland.

Youngsters Injured at Maryland Commercial Swimming Facilities

When the weather turns hot and humid in Maryland, summer afternoons can send families streaming to local swimming pools and splash parks for respite from sometimes oppressive heatwaves. As fun as these recreational facilities can be, parents and caregivers must always be on the alert to be sure their children remain safe.

Water parks and swimming pools may offer relief from the summer sun, but there are dangers to contend with no matter how well parents and guardians plan. A day trip to the local water park should be nothing but enjoyable, many youngsters (as well as some adults) can unfortunately sustain physical injury when swimming at commercial pool facilities throughout Maryland. Each year, more than 5,000 people around the country suffer a serious or fatal injury in swimming pool, splash park and beach facilities.

Sadly, injuries to young children and teens can range from simple contusions and bruising to fatal drownings, sometimes in just inches of water. Known clinically as anoxic brain injury, accidents involving this kind of injury can result in a child's brain being deprived of oxygen for a period of time. While a toddler or teen can be saved physically from a “near-drowning” event, the length of time that oxygen deprivation occurred can mean the difference between just a scary episode in a single day of a young person's life to facing an entire lifetime of assisted care for those who suffer a serious anoxic brain injury.

Potential Bottom Drain Injuries and Fatalities

Faulty, damaged or poorly designed bottom drains are particularly dangerous for children, especially those youngsters who like to explore deeper pools. The incredible suction experienced at the opening of a pool or spa bottom drain can be so powerful that even a full-grown adult can become trapped underwater with potentially tragic results. In 2002, seven year old Virginia Graeme Baker died in a drowning accident at the home of friends during a graduation party. The youngster became entrapped in the spa's drainage grate and attempts to pull her away from the drain and out of the water were, sadly, unsuccessful.

In 2007, Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), which established safety standards for pool drain covers and sump grates. The law requires all public pools and spas to have drain grates or covers that meet those standards in order to avoid situations that took Graeme’s young life. While these new safety devices can and do save lives, they can still fail over time; in fact, manufacturers are required to provide an estimated lifespan for each P&SS-compliant cover.

Although many compliant drain covers and sump grates can function correctly for upward of seven years, some models can have replacement intervals of as little as three years. For this reason alone, it is important that parents and guardians make certain that any pool their child swims in has these safety compliant devices installed and that they are in proper working condition. If an accident does occur, the operation, maintenance history and age of these devices should be fully investigated by a qualified personal injury lawyer as part of a possible injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Near-drowning accidents at commercial swimming pools and water park facilities can affect a victim's quality of life for months or years, if not the rest of their life. Symptoms of anoxic brain injury can include loss of memory, cognitive problems, visual aberrations, migraines and headaches, trouble with body movement and motor coordination, chronic weakness, as well as other issues. If the victim of anoxic brain injury can prove that he or she received those injuries as a result of negligence on the part of a commercial swimming pool facility, there may be legal avenues to recover monetary damages from the responsible party(s).

Negligence Claims Against Maryland Swimming Facilities

If a swimming pool-related accident results from the pool operator's negligent actions, the facility and its owners can be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses under the legal principle of “premises liability,” most especially when management is found to have allowed a dangerous condition(s) to exist. A few examples of negligence associate with swimming pool facilities can incldue the following:

  • Failure to provide adequate barriers around the perimeter of a pool to prevent unsupervised children from falling into the water
  • Lack of a latch-equipped or self-locking gate at the entrance to a pool (including locating the operating handle out of reach of small children)
  • Failing to have a well-maintain deck area surrounding the pool that is free from objects or other debris that could result in patrons tripping or falling
  • Ignoring the existence of dangerously slippery surfaces around the pool that may result in a slip-and-fall accident
  • Not maintaining proper drain covers in a pool or hot tub that comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety (P&SS) Act
  • Failure to post proper warning signs or depth markings around the pool area

If you or your child has suffered a TBI or anoxic brain injury due to a dangerous condition at a commercial swimming facility or water park, we highly recommend that you contact a qualified Maryland injury attorney to help you hold the negligent facility and/or its owners financially liable for your loved one's injuries. Any serious brain injury can have a significant impact on your life and an the life of your child. If negligence was the cause, you deserve to receive the maximum compensation allowed by law.

Popular Maryland Recreational Facilities

Accidents at recreational facilities happen all of the time. Below is a list of some of Maryland's more popular amusement and recreational venues:

  • The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring — Sandy Spring, MD
  • Frontier Town — Ocean City, MD
  • Six Flags America — Bowie, MD
  • Jolly Roger Amusement Park — Ocean City, MD
  • Trimper Rides and Amusement Park — Ocean City, MD
  • West OC Watersports — Ocean City, MD
  • Field Of Screams Maryland — Olney, MD
  • Splash Mountain Water Park — Ocean City, MD
  • Water Park at Bohrer Park — Gaithersburg, MD
  • Chesapeake Beach Water Park — Chesapeake Beach, MD
  • Jolly Roger at the Pier — Ocean City, MD
  • Miniature Train and Carousel at Wheaton Regional Park — Wheaton, MD
  • Columbia Swim Center — Columbia, MD
  • Speedworld — Ocean City, MD
  • Edward T. Hall Aquatic Center — Prince Frederick, MD
  • Altitude Trampoline Park — Delmar, MD
  • Allentown Splash, Tennis & Fitness Park — Fort Washington, MD
  • Glenn Dale Splash Park — Glen Dale, MD
  • Ocean Pines Sports Core Pool — Ocean Pines, MD
Hiring a Skilled Baltimore Injury Attorney

There are so many factors surrounding personal injury cases involving recreational and amusement facilities that it is important to engage the services of a knowledgable Maryland injury attorney early on in the process. A well-trained and experienced injury lawyer can ease the process of filing a lawsuit against a negligent party. For instance, some of the potential factors that should be investigated prior to filing a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim can include the following:

  • Improper or poorly placed warning/instructional signage
  • Failure by staff to warn patrons of common dangers within the facility
  • Failure of facility operators to properly enforce user weight and height limits
  • History of ride malfunctions and/or safety device failures
  • Overlooking or ignoring regular facility maintenance procedures
  • Failure to make timely equipment repairs
  • Lack of proper training for ride operators and/or facility employees
  • Under-staffing safety personnel or leaving lifeguard posts vacant
  • Failure to properly supervise a swimming pool or other potentially hazardous areas
Safety Advice for Parents and Children

It's good to have a qualified attorney on one's side after a serious recreational facility injury accident, but it's always in your family's best interest to do the utmost to protect yourselves from potential injury before any tragedy takes place. Below are some safety tips that parents, grandparents and guardians can take to reduce the chances for injury at amusement parks and other commercial recreation facilities. Consider this list as a starting point to help limit your child's risk of injury:

Amusement Parks, County Fairs and Carnivals
  • Read and follow all posted rules and restrictions
  • Listen to and follow ride operators' verbal instructions (including pre-recorded messages)
  • Obey height, weight, and medical restrictions
  • Consult your doctor before going on a “thrill ride,” especially if you have a medical condition
  • Be sure that restraint devices are secure and properly latched; this includes seatbelts and shoulder harnesses, as well as lap bars
  • Secure loose hair and clothing prior to the start of the ride
  • Be sure personal belongings, as well as cash, pocket change and cellphones are in a safe and secure place before the start of any ride
  • Keep your hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times; never stand up during the ride
  • Never carry a small child on your lap unless park personnel confirm it is safe to do so
Water Parks, Community Pools and Spas
  • First and foremost, never leave any child unattended
  • Always watch children when they are in or near water, even if there are lifeguards on duty
  • When possible, designate one adult in your group to supervise the kids playing in the water; this should be that person's only task (there should be no distractions, i.e. texting, reading a book, playing video games, etc.)
  • If a child does go missing, check the pool first
  • Always have a cellphone handy just in case you need to call 911
  • Teach your kids to stay away from pool drains, especially in shallow pools or spas
  • Never let a child go swimming in a pool with loose, broken or missing drain covers
  • Ensure that every pool or spa you frequent has safety compliant drain covers
  • Before going into a spa, always locate the emergency vacuum shutoff
  • Be sure that other safety devices are in use, such as proper fencing, self-closing and lockable gates and other safety barriers that prevent children from climbing over and into a pool area
  • Teach your children never to climb over pool gates or fences; door alarms can provide an added level of security for pool and spa areas
  • If your child doesn't know how to swim, enroll them in a local swimming class
  • Consider becoming certified in CPR for children and adults; if you are already certified, make sure to keep your certification current

Although water parks, splash parks and amusement parks offer exciting and fun-filled family activities during the summer months, accidents and their resulting injuries are an unfortunate occurrence. Personal injury incidents and accidental deaths are reported all across the nation at commercial recreation facilities across the state; and while many of these accidents involve relatively minor injury, some can result in extremely severe injury, and may even be life threatening.

Consult a Maryland Attorney to Discuss Your Injury Claim

Sometimes, carelessness on the part of an employee, or even outright recklessness on the part of facility management, can lead to the tragic loss of a loved one. When a child is killed as a result of another person's negligent actions, parents may wish to bring a claim for wrongful death and seek compensation for the loss of their child’s companionship, love and affection.

Parents and grieving family members should not have to navigate Maryland's often overwhelming legal system at the height of their sorrow. Struggling to care for a youngster lying helpless in a hospital bed — or trying to cope with the unexpected death of a small child — is already a difficult and heart-wrenching experience without having to figure out how to file a legal claim at the same time. The helpful staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, can offer decades of experience in personal injury law, which we hope will make an already difficult journey somewhat easier. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so there is no risk in making an appointment to discuss your potential case. Call us today at (800) 654-1949, or contact us online to get started.

Client Reviews
Throughout the process [of the motor vehicle collision case] you were available, responsive and up front. You were available for my questions, and my need for reassurance, and when the opportunity arose to better the outcome of my case, you did not shy away from the extra work. You have proven yourself to be an honest, realistic and caring advocate for the little guy in need. I will refer your firm to any who may be in similar need. John C.
I can't thank you enough for your efforts and dedication to resolving my case. I also want to thank you for your consistent professional manner, touched with that extra personal care that I sensed whenever we communicated. . . . You are a wonderful person and I wish you continued success. Again, thanks for everything. Hallie W.
I am proud to have had Lebowitz & Mzhen represent me in an automobile personal injury case I was involved with. Not only did they come through with a settlement worth far more than I thought possible, the entire office was always friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to answer any questions I had. Should an incident like this occur again, I will not hesitate to contact Lebowitz & Mzhen for their counsel, advice and representation, and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking honest and effective attorneys. Mark B.
Contact Us
  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 No Fees Unless You Win
  3. 3 Over $80 Million Recovered for Our Clients

Fill out the contact form or call us at (800) 654-1949 to schedule your free consultation.