Legal Staff Writer
On May 31, 2016, a case involving injuries sustained by a five-year-old boy while playing on the large, red concrete balls located in front of a local Target was removed to federal court.
Venus Costello, the mother of the boy, filed the lawsuit against Target in the Supreme Court of New York, County of Kings, on April 27, 2016, seeking $1.6 million dollars to cover the medical expenses of her son. Costello asserted that the red balls in front of the store were an attractive nuisance—a toy that the company could have known or should have known could cause injury, and which was appealing to children. Specifically, in September of 2015 when Costello’s son was playing on one of the red balls, he fell off and shattered his right elbow. According to the family’s attorney, the boy had to undergo surgery to put metal pins in place and may have permanent problems with his range of motion in the future.
While Target says that the red concrete balls are placed in front of stores to prevent cars from driving up on the curb, Costello claims that Target was negligent because the corporation took no measures to prevent children from playing on them, or warn against the potential hazards of playing on or near the balls.
The red concrete balls have been subject of some controversy in the past, notably during a two-week period when the store dressed them as beach balls to promote summer sales. After hearing complaints about children wanting to play on them as if they were real beach balls, the store ultimately took off the décor.
This case is: Costello v. Target Corporate Services, Inc., No. 1:2016-cv-02732 (E.D. NY).
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