Punkin Chunkin Considers Move Due to Liability Concerns

The organizers of the popular Fall related event “Punkin Chunkin” are considering relocating out of Delaware due to concerns related to liability insurance and related costs.

The president of the Punkin Chunkin, which is a nonprofit organization, has begun to reconsider its location, taking into account its costs for services from governmental agencies (safety and parking coordination) within the state, in addition to liability limitations for lawsuits related to the festival’s activities. While the festival itself has reportedly grown by 56% over the past six years, the costs associated with the governmental agencies have reportedly grown some 600%. All proceeds from the event fund subsequent events, or are donated to various charities and/or scholarship funds.

Despite the costs of the various services, which also include on site emergency crews, organizers for the event acknowledge the need to have these agencies present on-site. The ability to respond immediately was mentioned specifically in regards to a car fire that occurred in the parking lot and an ATV accident in a past year.

Another related issue stems from the state law in Delaware regarding lawsuit liability. According to organizers, Delaware has no cap on the amount of money that someone can sue for in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, even if they were to buy a policy with a high limit, an individual could theoretically sue for an amount greater than the policy limitations.

There have been suggestions that the festival may relocate to Maryland’s eastern shore. A final decision is expected by March.

Aside from the fact that Maryland may gain a nationally known festival, this story is worth examining because it brings up the costs and plans associated with avoiding and/or responding to accidents.

The reality of the situation is that whenever you have a large number of people in a space, there are going to be liability concerns. Combine this mass of people with a catapult that launches gords, and you set the stage for a potential host of personal injury issues. In addition to claims related to personal injury, such as with individuals hit by projectile pumpkins, or the more sedate slip and fall type claims, there is also potential for circumstances to arise whereby people cannot be reached in an emergency due to traffic congestion, or other issues.

Generally speaking, organizers of festivals and other large events are potentially responsible for any injuries that occur on the property where they are holding their event that are foreseeable. For example, if they fail to cordon off a large enough space for pumpkin chucking and someone gets hit, that seems to clearly be a foreseeable issue.

If you or a loved one has sustained a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence in Maryland or Washington D.C., consult the experienced negligence attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. Our Maryland personal injury accident attorneys have extensive experience in helping victims who have suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence recover the damages to which they are entitled. We have represented individuals who have been injured in many different types of accidents, including premises liability, products liability, car accidents, plane crashes, medical malpractice, etc. Contact us today in order to schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach us through our website, or by calling 1-800-654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Baltimore City Police Officer Convicted in Accidental Training Shooting, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published November 4, 2013
Negligence Lawsuit Filed Following Movie Theater Death of Man with Down Syndrome, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published October 18, 2013

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