Saratoga County

Bounce house lawsuits filed; 2 kids were hurt

South Glens Falls incident became national news
The bounce house picked up by a wind gust sits at the South Glens Falls police station.
The bounce house picked up by a wind gust sits at the South Glens Falls police station.

SARATOGA COUNTY — The parents of two young children injured when a Bounce House flew up into the air in South Glens Falls three years ago have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, the seller and the neighbor who hosted the children’s event that day.

The lawsuits brought by John and Michelle DeLuca and Jessica and Justin Mattison seek upspecified damages. The cases were both filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court for Saratoga County in Ballston Spa.

Then-6-year-old Noah DeLuca and then-5-year-old Cameron Matteson each suffered what the families said were serious injuries in the incident, which involved a Jump ‘N Play Bouncer, one of the light-weight inflatable plastic houses designed for children to jump and bounce around inside.

It made national news at the time. Since then, there have been similar incidents with children injured by bounce houses leaving the ground in high winds, including one last month in North Carolina, in which five children were hurt.

The lawsuits say — as police said at the time — that on May 12, 2014, the two children suffered serious injuries when a gust of wind unexpectedly caught the inflatable bounce house and lifted it 15 to 20 feet off the ground, dumping the three children who were inside. DeLuca fell into the street, and Matteson fell onto a car, according to the lawsuits. Both were flown by helicopter to Albany Medical Center.

The bounce house had been placed outside an apartment complex on Ferry Boulevard in South Glens Falls.

The lawsuits name MGA Entertainment, of Van Nuys, California; its Little Tikes subsidiary; the Toys “R” Us store in Queensbury, and Ryan P. Barber, the apartment complex resident who set up the bounce house that day.

“The bounce house is defectively designed, in that it presents an unreasonable risk of injury to prospective consumers,” the lawsuits state. “The bounce house is not fit for the ordinary use for what it was intended.”

Barber is accused of negligence in setting up the Bounce House, which the lawsuit said was purchased from the Toys “R” Us in Queensbury.

James T. Potter, of Albany, the attorney representing the Mattesons, said the parents had three years from the date of the incident to bring a lawsuit, and they didn’t file sooner because they were waiting to learn more about their son’s injuries, treatments and recovery.

“The injuries were severe,” Potter said, declining to detail them. “I think Cameron will always have issues related to those injuries.”

MGA Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment. Attempts to reach Barber were unsuccessful.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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