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Bounce house parents file lawsuit

Bounce house parents file lawsuit

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SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The parents of two South Glens Falls boys who were seriously hurt in a bounce house accident three years ago have filed a lawsuit.

They are suing the resident who put up the bounce house, the company that made the bounce house and the company that sold it.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court for Saratoga County. It seeks unspecified damages and does not divulge details about the boys’ injuries in the incident, which occurred May 12, 2014. A gust of wind spun the bounce house in violent circles, threw it into the air and left the children inside to fall out from dangerous heights.

The most seriously hurt was Cameron Matteson, who was 5 at the time. He fell an estimated 15 to 20 feet, hit his head on a parked car and then tumbled onto the pavement. Police said he suffered a severe head injury.

He was hospitalized for nearly three weeks at Albany Medical Center and then was released to a rehabilitation center. Police said he was able to return to school that fall, but the family has never detailed his injuries and did not release his name until the lawsuit was filed.

Also seriously injured was Noah DeLuca, 6, who fell from about the same height but hit the pavement, not a car. He broke both arms and was treated for facial injuries and internal injuries. He, too, was able to return to school in the fall.

Both boys were in kindergarten at Harrison Avenue Elementary School.

Police have said it appeared the owner of the toy, Ryan P. Barber, set it up properly, using the six plastic stakes it came with to secure it to the ground. Those stakes did not hold up under the strength of the wind gust, and some were found far from the site.

Barber is named in the lawsuit, along with Toys R Us, the company Barber bought the bounce house from; Little Tykes, which made the bounce house; and MGA Entertainment, which bought Little Tykes in 2006.

Another child had slight injuries in the accident, but her family did not file a lawsuit. The 10-year-old girl was near the doorway of the bounce house when the wind lifted it up and fell out immediately.

The bounce house flew more than 50 feet into the air over a stretch of woods, and eventually landed in a school athletic field hundreds of yards away, police said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reviewed the incident and issued a report about bounce houses in 2015. That report said that 90 percent of the injuries in bounce houses occurred in store-bought versions, rather than the larger commercial bounce houses.

Injuries are common, with 17,377 emergency room visits in 2013 for injuries from bounce houses and other inflatable amusement toys, the report said. The report also said 12 people died in bounce houses from 2003 to 2013, including a 2-year-old who suffocated and a man who landed on his head and neck while doing flips.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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