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If I Was Injured In A Public Park, Can I Sue The Government?

In Louisiana, there are several laws that limit recovery for personal injuries suffered on land used for recreational purposes. These laws include specific regulations surrounding lands owned, leased, or managed as a public park by the state or its political subdivisions. As a result, if someone suffers a personal injury in a New Orleans park, the circumstances surrounding that injury must be carefully examined to determine if there is any right to recover damages.

When landowners, including a government, permit use of land for recreational purposes, they are not responsible under Louisiana law for any personal injury caused by a defect on the property. This applies whether the defect was naturally occurring or man-made. The major exception to this rule occurs when the landowner engages in willful or malicious failure to warn against a dangerous condition, structure, or activity.

There are, however, two other exceptions that specifically apply in cases involving public parks.  First, this limitation on liability does not apply to playground equipment or viewing stands that are defective.  So if, for example, a child is injured on defective playground equipment, a right to recover damages for that injury exists.

Second, damages may also be recovered if the injury was caused by intentional or grossly negligent acts by an employee of the public entity. This does not, however, mean that the mere presence of a security person or supervisor when an injury occurs makes the government liable.  The actions of the public employee must be intentional or grossly negligent before damages may be pursued.

If you have suffered a personal injury and have any questions regarding what party you should proceed against, please feel free to call our office at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.  We would be happy to help you.