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Woman Impaled By Beach Umbrella Sues


A Pennsylvania woman was impaled when a beach umbrella caught a heavy wind and took flight. The woman was, obviously, severely injured by the incident. While the incident seems like an “Act of God,” the woman is suing everyone involved with the umbrella including the municipal government of Ocean City that operated the public beach. Thus far, only God and the government have been dismissed from the lawsuit. The case against the umbrella manufacturer and the company that rented the umbrellas has survived summary dismissal. The plaintiff will also have a chance to amend her complaint against Ocean City so that it meets specific criteria. If the amended complaint passes muster, then only God is safe from this complaint.

Understanding the complaint 

Mother Nature creates wind, according to the law, so you can’t sue over a burst of wind. However, you can sue over what human beings know to be true prior to an injury event. In this case, there was a wind advisory in effect the day of the impaling. The beach umbrellas themselves are claimed to have been unreasonably dangerous due to the spear-like nature of the ends which are stuck into the ground. The company is blamed for using unreasonably dangerous umbrellas during a wind advisory.

Further, the company that manufactured the umbrella is being sued for creating an umbrella that caused an unreasonable hazard in high winds. Ocean City was sued for having control over the beach where the umbrellas were sold and failing to exercise reasonable control over the quality of those umbrellas or banning the use of umbrellas on a windy day.

The government was dismissed from a lawsuit based on a state rule known as “recreational use immunity.” If a landowner makes their land available to use, they are limited in what type of liability they can face. This includes the government. Instead, a claim must be made against a specific employee who committed a specific form of negligence. That may or may not be available to the plaintiffs, but it won’t harm their case too much. The bulk of the claim has been leveled against the umbrella manufacturer and the company that made the umbrellas available to beach-goers on a windy day.

What will happen? 

The umbrella manufacturer will blame the city government and the company that made the umbrellas available for use. But unless they issued a warning to customers not to use the umbrellas on windy days, they will not be able to successfully defend themselves from this lawsuit. If they did warn customers, then the duty of care passes to the city government and the vendor who made the umbrellas available during a wind advisory since the company met its duty of care to its customers by warning them against wind dangers. Ultimately, it is likely that all parties (except God) are liable for this incident.

Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you have been impaled by a beach umbrella, the Tampa personal injury lawyers at The Matassini Law Firm can help you file suit against the negligent parties. Call today and allow us to begin preparing your case immediately.



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