Many establishments have machines designed to attract children by offering a prize. The popular chain Chuck E. Cheese featured a machine that awarded prizes to children who could collect and redeem prize tickets issued by other Chuck E. Cheese restaurants.
Unfortunately, the machines allegedly had a habit of trapping long hair and they lacked any sort of automatic shut-off switch. One of those machines has now given rise to a lawsuit in Pennsylvania that may inspire similar actions.
According to various media reports, a young girl was redeeming her tickets in a machine located in a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Wilkes-Barre when hair became entangled in the ticket processing machine.
She was unable to stop the machine or extract her hair from it. The machine continued to pull her hair, and her head was subjected to several impacts.
Spectators noticed the incident and were able to disconnect its power cord. Nevertheless, the girl’s hair was cut to release her from the machine.
Since the incident, the girl has experienced muscle spasms and pain in her neck and back and other parts of her body.
The complaint alleges that Chuck E. Cheese and the company that makes the machines, Deltronic Labs, were aware of the hazard but took no steps to fix it or warn others about the hazard.
The complaint also alleges that Deltronic Labs was aware of the hazard because it has been sued several times in cases involving simila injuries.
The media report of the Wilkes-Barre accident states that several other lawsuits have been filed against Chuck E. Cheese and Deltronic Labs involving similar accidents.
In 2017, the hair of a 3-year-old girl became entangled in one of the ticket machines. The girl’s mother could see no shut-off switch, and she was forced to pull her daughter’s hair from her scalp, leaving two permanent bald spots.
Product liability and premises liability
When someone has been injured by a device on property owned by another party, they may have multiple options for pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Product liability is the legal theory that can hold manufacturers responsible after consumers are injured by defective products. Premises liability is a legal theory that can hold property owners liable for damages caused by hazardous conditions on their property.