Summary Judgment for Town of Stratford in Playground Negligence Case

860-249-1361 Ext. 154

Howd & Ludorf, LLC partner Katherine Rule recently won summary judgment in a case involving an 18 year old woman who suffered a leg injury after jumping off of a swing at a Town playground.  In Beeman v. Town of Stratford, Plaintiff claimed that the Town was negligent for not having adequate fall protection and otherwise failing to maintain the Town playground.  Plaintiff landed in a small hole in the playground area, and asserted that the Town had violatedthe Consumer Product Safety commission Guidelines for Playgrounds, the Americans with Disabilities Act and various negligencetheories.  Attorney Rule raised the defense of governmental immunity, arguing that the actions of the Town in inspecting and maintaining the playground were discretionary and, therefore, that governmental immunity applied.  Attorney Rule convinced the Court that the seemingly mandatory provisions of the Consumer Product Safety code were not binding on the Town, and that code has never been adopted in Connecticut, and thus was merely a set of recommendations.  The Court agreed and granted summary judgment based on governmental immunity.