"A now-12-year-old Temecula boy who fell from a fast-food restaurant's play structure and struck his head, causing brain damage, was awarded a $20 million settlement from the franchise's parent company, his attorney said today.
The money was awarded to Jacob Buckett and his sister, Isabelle, who was
5 at the time of Jacob's fall at the Temecula restaurant on Aug. 4, 2005.
The structure was inside the restaurant and there was no rubber beneath
the bars, just tile, according to Jacob's attorney, Christopher Aitken.
The defendants, the restaurant franchisee, parent company and playground
manufacturer, were not named because of the settlement's confidentiality
clause but according to the Web site momlogic.com, the restaurant was a Burger
Delta Marketing Inc., the installer of the playground, was also sued.
Jacob suffered damage to his parietal lobe and his left front lobe, as well as injuries to his lungs when he fell off the bars, which looked like a fireman's pole and monkey bars, Aitken said.
Although the defendants contended that the responsibility for watching
the boy was the father's, Aitken said that parents have an expectation of
safety when they take their children to established playgrounds.
The attorney also contended that the restaurant and installer should have placed rubber beneath the structure, rather than leaving the tile floor.
Warning signs were not posted at the particular restaurant where Jacob
fell, though other restaurants in the chain had such signs posted, Aitken said."
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