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As someone who has taken his kids to fast food restaurants for breakfast as a weekend treat when they were small, this case resonated with me, because I can remember letting them play on the playground, without checking the floor surface, though I could watch them as I ate and sat with the sleeping baby in the stroller. A young boy and and his sister, have been awarded $20 million as settlement in a personal injury suit brought against Burger King. The 12-year old boy and his sister were playing at a playground inside the restaurant in August, 2005, when the boy fell injuring his lungs, and his parietal lobe and his left front lobe. The playground structure, which included a fireman’s pole and monkey bars, had no rubber matting beneath it, just tile.

According to news reports, Delta Marketing, the company that installed the playground was also named as a defendant in the suit. The defendants allegedly claimed that the responsibility for watching the children was the father’s, however the attorney for the boy and his family maintained that there is an expectation of safety inherent in these types of situations. Furthermore, warning signs were not posted at the particular restaurant where the adolescent fell, though other restaurants in the chain had posted warning signs. The boy’s injuries resulted in his hospitalization for more than 4 months, and today he is still undergoing rehabilitation and has significant brain damage.

Before letting a child play on indoor "jungle gyms" or playground equipment, make sure that there are safe places to land with shock absorbing material. My own daughter broke her arm falling from monkey bars. The ground beneath her was covered in wood chips. Had she fallen on hard tile, as in this case, her injury would have been much worse.

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