According to New York City’s Department of City Planning, approximately 24 percent of the city’s more than 8.4 million residents are under the age of 18. For younger children, the city’s Parks Department maintains hundreds of parks and playgrounds, many of which contain equipment like slides and monkey bars. The safety of many of these playgrounds was the subject of a recent New York Daily News article which detailed the horrific injuries of several New York City children.
From severed fingers and crushed elbows to severe traumatic brain injuries, lawsuits filed by hundreds of parents detail the serious injuries their children suffered while playing at some New York City playgrounds. Since 2010, there have been a total of 556 successful lawsuits against the city related to playground accidents, which have resulted in the city paying out nearly $20 million in settlements.
Children are among the most vulnerable of all residents in New York City and every child should have access to safe and hazard-free playground equipment. Information uncovered by NBC New York’s I-team, revealed that from March 2014 to March 2015, more than 440 work orders to repair faulty or dangerous playground equipment or park conditions remained open for at least four months. Even more troubling is the fact that 197 of these work orders were labeled as requiring “immediate attention.”
While every child is bound to take a spill at the playground now and then, when a child’s injuries are caused by equipment that is dangerous or in serious need of repair, parents are advised to seek legal advice.