A Drighlington mother has condemned a local authority after her son’s finger was severed following an accident on faulty playground equipment.
Amanda Crossland was horrified when her 10-year-old son Curtis had almost half of his finger sliced off while using a cross trainer at Crow Wood Park, Halifax.
The injury was so severe doctors were unable to reattach the finger, leaving Curtis permanently disfigured. His mother has now begun legal action against Calderdale Council and contacted personal injury experts Slater and Gordon.
Mrs Crossland, 41, said, “This isn’t just a grazed knee or a bruise, my son has lost his finger for life and also has the emotional scars. We now want answers. It has been very upsetting for us as a family but especially for Curtis and his younger brother Ellis who saw it all happen. That is an incredibly traumatic thing for two young boys to have to go through."
The accident happened on Sunday, September 1 when Curtis and his eight-year-old bother Ellis went to visit Crow Wood Park with their father Richard. During the family day out the children decided to use the fitness equipment which had been provided in the park next to the playground.
The family claims that as Curtis gathered speed the broken handle on the cross trainer caused it to spin 360 degrees throwing his legs off the machine while trapping a finger on his left hand. The terrified youngster, whose finger was left hanging by a thread following the accident, was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary hospital but doctors told the family they would be unable to reattach his digit.
Following the accident, Curtis has suffered regular nightmares and has been receiving trauma therapy to help him cope with the incident. Mrs Crossland says the injury could have been avoided if the Calderdale Council had maintained the park on a more frequent basis but instead he faces a life permanently scared.
She said, “There was rust on the edge of the machine so we know it had not broken overnight so I want to know why it was not repaired sooner. What makes it worse is that the council haven't even apologised to us and neither have they answered any of my questions on maintenance. I want answers about how this was allowed to happen. If they are going to provide this kind of equipment in parks then it needs to be properly maintained.”
Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyer Donna Kipling said, "The local authority has a duty to visitors to provide and maintain a safe environment. They have provided equipment within the park and invited members of the public to use it. This equipment was directly next to a children's play area so it is likely that children using the park and the play area will use this equipment.
“The council has failed to inspect, maintain and repair the equipment to a suitable standard, leading to a foreseeable risk of injury to users, including children. The local authority must ensure that they have in place regular and adequate inspection regimes to minimise the risk of accidents such as this happening."
Donna Kipling is a Personal Injury Lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Sheffield.
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