4 Students Injured in Bounce House Flip at Zillah High School

Updated on: 5/3/2019

Four students were left with injuries when a bounce house was picked up by a gust of wind at a Zillah High School event Wednesday. 

The incident occurred around 2:35 p.m. on the Zillah HS football field during an Associated Student Body event at the school.

A strong whirlwind picked up and flipped the bounce house with four students inside, lifting it 10-20 feet into the air and carrying it at least 240 feet. It’s unknown whether the bouncy house was anchored to the ground. Reports say that the students were tethered into the inflatable at the time.

Emergency officials say that one student, a 17-year-old girl, received CPR and shock treatment before being rushed to Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima. She was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. As of Thursday, reports say she is in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 

Injuries to the other three included a potential concussion and minor injuries to the knee, ankle and rib. They were transported to Virginia Mason Memorial hospital in Yakima for treatment. Further information about the victims is not available. 

The incident remains under investigation.

Statement from Zillah School District

The following statement was released Thursday by Zillah School District #205:

“Zillah School District would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support of the students, staff and parents involved in the May 1, 2019 accident. The school district has developed a crisis response/support plan for the high school that involves counseling services for both students and staff affected by the accident.

“Those services are being provided by Zillah School District counselors, as well as counselors from local school districts and Education Service District #105. Students and staff wanting access to those counseling services are welcome to contact any high school administrator, who will assure that anyone requesting such services is directed to the appropriate counselor.

“Our focus is on the social and emotional well-being of our students and staff, which will continue for as long as needed. We are committed to continually monitoring and evaluating the needs of our students and staff as we collectively heal from the accident. Our continued thoughts are with everyone affected by yesterday’s accident. #zillahstrong”

Attorney Chris Davis Discusses Accident on KIMATV

Davis Law Group founder and principal attorney Chris Davis appeared on KIMATV in Yakima on Thursday night. Mr. Davis discussed the various legal aspects of the bounce house incident and where victims can turn for help.

READ: Law firm answers questions about bouncy house accident (KIMA TV)

Bounce House Accident Liability

 

After bounce house accidents, it can be a challenge to determine liability. Having a personal injury attorney on your side can help you and your family sort out the details of the incident and hold the proper parties responsible. 

There are several potential at-fault parties for a bounce house accident, including: 

  • The supervisor of the bounce house at the time of the injury incident
  • The renter (person, group, organization, etc.) that leased the bounce house
  • The business that leased the bounce house to the renter
  • The bounce house installer

Operator/Supervisor/Renter Liability

An attorney can help determine if the operator or supervisor of the bounce house, or the party that rented the bounce house, did the following things:

  • Made sure warning signs were visible
  • Provided warning to people before entering bounce house
  • Enforced age restrictions
  • Enforced maximum occupancy rules
  • Followed safety rules per the lease agreement or manufacturers’ guidelines
  • Policed rowdy or improper behaviors
  • Provided adult supervision at all times

Bounce House Rental Company Liability

An attorney can help determine if the bounce house rental company did the following things:

  • Provided renters with an owner’s manual, operating instructions, etc.
  • Provided renters with warning signs
  • Provided renters with a training program or walk-through
  • Provided renters with adequate installation
  • Stressed the importance of following all operating instructions and safety rules

Bounce House Installer Liability

An attorney can help determine if the bounce house installer or installation company did the following things:

  • Had an industry-wide certification to install bounce houses
  • Provided training to employees on how to install bounce houses
  • Received instructions on how to install the structure
  • Followed instructions on installation

High-Profile Bounce House Incidents

Wednesday’s bounce house accident at Zillah High School is just the latest in a string of high-profile bounce house mishaps in the United States. 

  • April 2017, South Carolina. Five children were hurt after two inflatable bounce houses at a church carnival in South Carolina were blown away by strong winds. One bounce house flew into a tree; the other into a power line.
  • May 2016, Florida. Several children were injured when a waterspout launched the bounce house into the air in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • May 2016, Texas. Ten people were injured when a bounce house blew more than 30 yards across a football field and into a fence at a school carnival in Houston, Texas.
  • October 2014, New Hampshire. Two boys, ages 2 and 3, were injured (one critically) when a bounce house they were in at a Halloween festival in Nashua, New Hampshire, was swept 30 feet into the air and crashed into an orchard. The bounce house owner was charged with operating improperly.
  • July 2014, Nevada. An inflatable slide at a Fourth of July celebration in Sparks, Nevada, was blown into the air, injured two bystanders.
  • May 2014, Colorado. Children were left with injuries when a bounce house at the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Jamboree in Colorado went airborne. Wind gusted up to 30 mph at the time of the incident. The bounce house was sent 300 feet from its original spot.
  • May 2014, New York. Two boys, ages 5 and 6, suffered serious injuries when a bounce house they were playing in in South Glens Falls, New York, blew away.
  • June 2011, New York. Thirteen people were injured when a bounce house came loose in Long Island, New York.
  • December 2007, Washington. A 3-year-old boy was killed in an indoor bounce house when two adults fell on him in Castle Rock, Washington.

If you or a loved one has a claim for injuries caused by the negligence of another regarding a bounce house or other inflatable structure accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney from Davis Law Group for a free initial consultation. 

Our Seattle-based attorneys handle cases across Washington state. We offer a variety of consultation options to help you in this time of need. Call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page to get started.

Chris Davis
Attorney Chris Davis is the founder of Seattle-based Davis Law Group, P.S.
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