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Investigating Playground Accidents

Playgrounds in public parks, daycare centers, schools, campgrounds or private property are an obvious source of fun for children across the country, though in recent years, severe playground injuries have raised safety concerns on the equipment itself and negligent playground maintenance.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground injuries.

Defective playground equipment may include dangerous slides, monkey bars, climbing apparatus and swings that can each pose a risk to children of various ages, and lead to serious playground injuries like broken bones, lacerations and amputations, head and neck injuries and potential strangulation.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Product Liability Lawyer and premises liability attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability cases involving defective playground equipment. 

Potential Risk for Playground Injuries

Unfortunately, it is not unusual for kids to get seriously injured in a playground accident. Accidents may be the result of negligent installation or equipment maintenance, defective playground equipment or a poorly designed playground. Studies have also found that playgrounds in low-income areas have more maintenance-related hazards than playgrounds in high-income areas. Playground hazards that can lead to injuries include:

  • Exposed sharp hardware
  • Improperly anchored equipment
  • Fall Hazards
  • Loose screws or bolts
  • Inadequate fall guards or ground cushioning
  • Missing safety features
  • Entrapment Risk
  • No warning signs
  • Poorly maintained playgrounds
  • Defective designs

Commonly Treated Playground Injuries

Almost half of playground-related injuries are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations, or amputations, mostly occurring at schools, daycare centers and public playgrounds. Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of them, more than half of whom died from strangulation.

  • Fractures: the most common playground injury. Children aged 5 to 9 are the most likely group to fracture bones.
  • Head injuries: concussions are a common playground injury, mainly related to falls from climbing equipment.
  • Dislocation: a common injury for young children. Dislocated arms, elbows or other joints are usually involved.
  • Contusions and Lacerations: Cuts, scrapes, bruises are not typically serious, though poorly maintained equipment may cause severe cuts and even amputation in some cases.

Playground Equipment Dangers & Recalls

Playground Equipment may be recalled before or after injuries, or as a result of pending lawsuits filed on behalf of injured victims. Some recent recalls of playground slides have included:

  • The Slalom Glider, a six-foot high playground plastic slide, curved in shape with an arched, tubular steel access ladder. The recalled slide came as a stand-alone slide or as an attachment to other playground equipment. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received 16 reports of injuries to children under 8-years old, including 14 fractures to arms and legs, one fractured collar bone and one bruised spleen.
  • In another unrelated case of a defective slide, 1,300 stainless steel playground slides were recalled after two children had their fingers amputated by broken equipment. The company released a statement describing the safety issue: “The weld between the slide bedway and sidewall can crack and separate. A child’s fingers can get caught in the space, posing an amputation hazard.”

Compensation for Victims of Playground Accidents

If your child has suffered any playground injury due to the negligence of supervision or defective equipment, it is important to preserve physical evidence with medical records, photographs and all product parts. Take photos at the injury scene and contact a personal injury lawyer to evaluate the cause of the injury.

Playground equipment can be under the jurisdiction of schools and daycare facilities or municipal or state governments. If manufacturers sell equipment that does not meet current safety standards, or incorrectly installs and maintain the equipment, they may be liable for injuries.

Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages against a manufacturer for disregarding the safety of children and consumers. Manufacturers and distributors of goods can be held liable for physical harm caused by their products.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Personal Injury Cases
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.