Written by attorney Edward Joel Lake

Premises Liability Issues: Suing for Injuries During a Parade

Every year, millions of Americans attend parades to commemorate events and celebrate their communities. Unfortunately, because street parades are so jam-packed with people, floats, cars, and debris, they can also pose hazards to attendees.

While parade attendees do assume a certain amount of risk, the parties in charge of the parades still owe them a duty care. You should be able to watch a parade without being struck by a vehicle, stumbling on defective pavement, or being injured by malfunctioning floats. You should be able to expect a reasonable amount of personal safety when watching a parade.

Good city officials and parade organizers often go to great lengths to keep the events safe and fun. Sometimes, though, those efforts are insufficient, attendees are injured, and many cities and companies find themselves facing liability lawsuits related to premises liability.

Parades Gone Wrong

Large parades take a huge amount of planning, adequate staff to make sure things run smoothly, and a considerable amount of care and foresight to keep everyone safe during show time.

But sometimes things go wrong. For instance, in the 2005 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a rogue balloon injured two sisters, according to the New York Times (NYT). The parade balloon fell on a light fixture, which subsequently broke and fell on the girl and her sister.

Similarly, at the Macy’s Day Parade in 1997, a huge six-story Cat in the Hat balloon hit a street lamppost that injured four people, and put one of them in a coma for 24 days. The woman who was in the coma sued for $395,000,000 according to the NYT. She settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Parade participants can be at risk as well. One young child jumped off the float at a parade in Canada to hand a spectator candy, when he fell underneath the float. The float ran over him and the boy was placed in an intensive care unit. City officials in the town set to work increasing safety measures.

Determining Who is Liable for the Accident

Determining exactly who is liable for an accident on the street at a parade is somewhat complicated. In certain cases, numerous parties may be liable.

For instance, in the lawsuit discussed above, the woman sued three separate parties, the:

  • city;
  • city contractor; and
  • department store.

You’ll need to speak with an injury attorney to determine which parties might be at fault for your injuries, and how much your premises liability claim is worth. Plus, your attorney can look at local statutes regarding parades and liability, because they may stipulate whether or not you have the right to sue.

Louisiana statutes, for instance, limit liability for Mardi Gras injuries, only providing for a few exceptions. Each city and state may specify different rules, so make sure to find an attorney knowledgeable about local codes, liability, and personal injury law.

Consult Personal Injury Lawyers

For help with your claim, contact an attorney at Gacovino Lake & Associates. We serve clients all around the country, and help them pursue the compensation they deserve after a serious accident. Contact us today for a consultation – 800-246-4878.

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Avvo personal injury email series

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer