Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 27, 1998

Personal injury suit filed against City of Winsted


A lawsuit has been filed against the City of Winsted alleging negligence regarding a piece of playground equipment.

The same suit also alleges negligence against the equipment's manufacturer, Quality Industries, Inc.

The complaint was filed in district court by LuAnn Kucera on behalf of her son.

Kucera is requesting in excess of $50,000 each from the city and Quality Industries, Inc., along with pre-judgement and post-judgement interest, costs, and disbursements.

According to court documents, on July 27, 1995, Kucera's son was swimming in Winsted Lake at Mill Reserve Park. The child ran from the beach area to the Super Arch Climber and began climbing on it. The child slipped, struck his abdomen, and injured his spleen.

Kucera's complaint alleges one count of negligence against the city, stating the city negligently constructed, maintained, and inspected the city park and the Super Arch Climber, creating an unreasonable risk of harm to the equipment's users; that the city negligently failed to warn Kucera's son of the hazards presented by the Super Arch Climber and this resulted in his injuries.

The allegations against Quality Industries, Inc. include strict liability and negligence and breach of warranty.

On the matter of strict liability, Kucera alleges that the equipment was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous in that it did not have a slip resistant surface that is effective under both wet and dry conditions; that Quality Industries failed to adequately warn the user of the "dangerous characteristics inherent to the product . . .;" and it is the fault of Quality Industries, Inc. that Kucera's son was injured "causing him to incur past and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering of body and mind, embarrassment and emotional distress.

Also against Quality Industries, Inc., Kucera alleges the company warranted the Super Arch Climber was safe for its intended use, but breached the warranty when it sold the product in a design and manufacture dangerous for its foreseeable usage in the condition it was sold.

A trial date has been set for Oct. 5, 1998.

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