Q: My wife was injured when an outdoor restaurant tent tipped over during strong winds. The canopy’s metal frame hit her head and she suffered a brain injury. Can we hold the restaurant responsible for her medical bills?
A: In the aftermath of Covid-19, many restaurants rushed to set up outdoor dining tents to accommodate guests. Restaurants may have had the tents hastily constructed. A strong wind or rainstorm can damage the canopies and cause them to collapse or tip over.
Depending on the facts, the restaurant may indeed be liable for injuries caused when the tent collapses. The restaurant owner should have foreseen the possibility of inclement weather and secured the tent to prevent tipping or collapse.
Dining canopies generally are constructed of a metal frame and fabric membrane covering. The components, if knocked over in a strong wind, can absolutely result in significant injury to a patron dining underneath the canopy.
A restaurant owner has a duty to adequately anchor, rope or brace the tent to withstand the elements of weather and avoid collapsing.
Unless it is properly secured, a sudden violent wind gust can knock over a canopy, an umbrella or a heater. Serious injuries can be inflicted, including:
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
The injuries can result in life-long pain and suffering, and significant medical bills.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of a tent, canopy, umbrella, or heater that collapsed or tipped over, call the personal injury lawyers at McGee, Lerer & Associates for a free consultation. At no charge, we will listen to what happened and give you our advice on whether you have a case. If you do decide to hire us, there is no up-front fee, and no fee whatsoever unless we are successful in winning money for you. You can read more about our no fee promise here.