Aug 14, 2015 - Premises Liability

Safety officials working for the Fayette County Fair are attempting to limit accidents and other medical emergencies at the popular summer venue. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges to public safety at the fair is the summer heat. Excessive heat can cause health problems for visitors unaccustomed to spending long periods of time in the sun.

Higher temperatures can also accelerate food spoilage. Each year, inspectors with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services travel to the fair prior to its opening day. Once on scene, a handful of safety inspectors check out food vending trailers and other outlets preparing consumable goods for fairgoers. Last year, the inspectors found 16 food safety violations among the fair’s food vendors.

The inspections at the fair aren’t just limited to food. According to the owner of many of the fair’s mechanical rides, each day a licensed inspector will also oversee 26 of the rides scheduled to be in operation at the fair. The Department of Agriculture also maintains a database on the last time those rides were inspected.

An estimated 20 to 30 security staff personnel will be on hand daily. They are tasked with keeping order among the large crowds and visiting animals. Last year, a horse that bolted from the fairgrounds sparked a civil lawsuit after it collided with a passing vehicle on Route 119. The horse was killed in the crash and occupants in two vehicles received injuries during the incident. One of those injured motorists filed a complaint against the horse’s owner citing inadequate physical barriers to keep the horse from leaving the fairgrounds.

Pennsylvania residents need to know that premises liability law is essentially about removing foreseeable risks to visitors. Under premises liability legal theory, a property owner can be liable if he or she fails to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to people allowed onto the property. This is true whether you experience a slip and fall accident at a local coffee shop, or you are made ill by food served to you at a restaurant. A Pennsylvania premises liability attorney can assist you in seeking recovery for your medical expenses and other costs associated with your injuries.

Source: The Herald Standard, “Safety is top priority at local fairs,” Mike Tony, July 30, 2015

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