Every year during the fall, people enjoy going to local pumpkin patches, and, in addition to getting pumpkins and apples, they like to watch pumpkins getting fired out of cannons. There are various different types of pumpkin launchers, but they are generally powered pneumatically (compressed air) or with some type of slingshot mechanism. This activity is officially known as “Punkin Chunkin.”
This activity has become so popular that Discovery Channel holds an annual competition and makes that competition into a reality show bearing the same name as the activity of launching the pumpkins. They are judged on various factors, including distance and maximum height. However, it is apparently not without risk of injury.
The network will not be airing a new episode based upon a contest that was supposed to happen at Thanksgiving, according to a recent news article from USA Today. The reason for this is because it was cancelled after a woman was severely injured at a recent contest. In that case, the woman was in the vicinity of a pumpkin launching air cannon when it exploded into countless pieces of shrapnel. Some of these dangerous pieces of metal shrapnel hit the woman, causing serious personal injury. In fact, her injuries proved so severe that she was still listed as being in critical condition more than a few days after her accident. Fortunately, she is expected to recover, but she is still in the hospital as of the time of this article.
In addition to this injury, there was another in which a man also present that day was taken to the hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. As result of the woman’s injuries, the network has said they wish the victim a fast and complete recovery and do not feel it is appropriate to air the contest, since the activity is resulting in people being injured. This was not the first time the activity had been canceled. This was actually the first time the contest was being held in more than a two years, because, at the last contest to be held, a serious personal injury occurred and a negligence-based lawsuit was filed.
While it is not all that likely that you will be injured by a pumpkin launching cannon, this is merely an example of an activity that can result in serious personal injury or death. If you have been injured, and the cause of that injury was not your fault, you should contact an experienced Boston injury attorney as soon as possible to see if you have a valid claim. One issue that may be discussed during your initial consultation is whether or not you signed a waiver.
In order to participate in certain activities, the organizers may have you sign a liability waiver excusing them of any and all liability. This does not mean that you will be prevented from filing a lawsuit, as your attorney may be able to get the waiver struck. However, it is important that you discuss this issue with your attorney during the consultation process.
If you have suffered personal injury in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
‘Punkin Chunkin’ program canceled after accident, November 20, 2016, By Lorena Blas, USA Today
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