Parade Floats are Open and Obvious Dangers, According to Ohio’s 6th District

Posted on April 26th, 2016 by sutteroconnell

In July of 2014, we published an article about Ohio’s Fifth Appellate District’s decision in Kinkade v. Noblet, 2014-Ohio-3172. In Kinkade, the Fifth Appellate District determined that participating in a parade and passing out candy was an inherently dangerous activity.

This week, the Sixth Appellate District took it a step further.   Not only are parades inherently dangerous, but the moving floats themselves are open and obvious risks.  In Hallier v. Hopkins, 2016-Ohio-2661, the plaintiff was walking next to a moving float and was passing out candy.  When she ran out of candy, she would walk closer to the trailer – while it was still moving – and grab more candy.   The third time the plaintiff retrieved candy, the trailer’s wheel rolled over her foot causing injury.  The plaintiff sued the driver pulling the float, and the float’s sponsor, Local Carpenters Union 2239.

Upholding Ohio’s tradition, the Sixth Appellate District concluded that the plaintiff’s lawsuit lacked merit. The Court agreed with the Fifth Appellate District and concluded that participating in a parade (i.e. walking next to a moving float) involves inherent dangers.  The Court also concluded that a moving parade float is an open and obvious danger.  Under this doctrine, a plaintiff cannot recover damages for encountering an open and obvious danger because nature of the hazard itself serves as a warning.   In Hallier, it was readily apparent that the float was moving.   The Court concluded that a reasonable person in the plaintiff’s position would have noticed the risk of the slow-rolling wheels.

For more information about this article, or any questions about potential exposure, please feel free to contact Daniel Leister at 216.928.4546 or dleister@sutter-law.com.