'Family Fun Day' Ends in Death
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - A high school band booster died at a "family fun day" because the event producer failed to secure a giant blow-up slide, the family claims in court.
Ronald Walsh's widow sued 62SGAC dba Incredible Events by 62 Sports Group dba Incredible Events, in Madison County Court.
Incredible Events, based in Roxana, Ill., provides event management services.
Melanie Walsh claims her husband died on June 7 of blunt force trauma to the head, while trying to help Incredible Events staff secure the slide during a thunderstorm at the Farley Nuclear Plant in Ashford, Ala.
Incredible Events and the plant arranged for the Rehobeth Band Boosters, a local high school, to help run the "family fun day." Walsh showed up around 2:45 p.m. to help as a band booster.
Neither the nuclear plant nor the band boosters are parties to the lawsuit.
The day before the event, weather forecasters predicted a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms for the next day. The morning of the fun day, the chance of rain was upgraded to 70 percent and at 2:15 p.m. that day the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area for the next hour.
The storm arrived at 3 p.m. "directly over the site of the event," the widow says in the complaint.
"At no time were the inflatables deflated, moved or otherwise secured for the impending storm. When the storm hit, the Giant Slide became untethered and began to roll end over end across the event site. The blower to the Giant Slide remained unattached to the Giant Slide as it rolled.
"Incredible Events staff and Ronald Walsh attempted to secure the Giant Slide.
"Upon information and belief while plaintiff decedent Ronald Walsh was attempting to secure the Giant Slide he was hit in the head by the still attached blower and subsequently died from blunt force trauma."
Melanie Walsh seeks damages for negligence/wantonness, and negligent and wanton supervision and training.
An Incredible Events spokesman told Courthouse News: "This is a very sad incident where Mr. Walsh for reasons unknown went from the safety of his car out into the storm and was hit in the head by some unknown, wind-blown object. Obviously, this is a sad time for the Walsh family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time."
Melanie Walsh is represented by Eric Carlson, with Byron, Carlson, Petri & Kalb.