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Basketball rim and backboard blamed for youth's death

Placid settings and routine activities can turn into tragedy when manufacturers and other parties do not fulfill their duties of assuring safety. The manufacturer of sporting equipment and others are being blamed for the death of a 14-year-old playing basketball at his Indiana home, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed earlier this month in St. Joseph Superior Court.

On June 22, the victim was giving basketball tips to his 7-year-old sister at their home. The 60-inch, 260-pound metal and glass indoor basketball hoop fell on him from its wall mounting with a loud crash that reverberated throughout the house. It pinned him to the ground and prevented him from breathing. His mother attempted to resuscitate him but could not revive him. After being transported to a South Bend hospital, he was pronounced dead.

The family filed its lawsuit against the manufacturer, the seller and the installer of the hoop and backboard. They claim that his death was attributed to their reckless, willful and wanton misconduct. The plaintiffs charge that inadequate warnings and installation instructions accompanied this equipment when it was purchased in November Of 2016. Similar indoor hoops should be equipped with additional safety features that are used in school gyms, such as chains or cleats, according to the lawsuit.

The equipment that was sent to their home was unassembled and did not have appropriate wall fasteners that were needed to properly install the hoop to certain surfaces. The plaintiffs alleged that information on appropriate wall surfaces for the equipment was not included.

They also claim that that the subcontractor recklessly, carelessly and negligently installed the hoop and backboard. The builder installed it with six screws that were drilled into drywall and particle board without being secured by studs, wall anchors or other reinforcement. Only a part of these screws reached the particle board.

The family is seeking compensatory damages for funeral and counseling expenses, along with damages for the loss of companionship and love. They are also working with government authorities to prevent these types of deadly mishaps in the future.

A family who suffers the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident may need to seek prompt legal assistance to seek compensation and damages and to hold negligent parties responsible. An attorney can help gather evidence and assure that a lawsuit is timely filed.

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