The family of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy has filed a $350,000 negligence suit against neighbors of the boy's grandparents in New Windsor, claiming that he lost three teeth when a malfunctioning backyard swing slammed him into a pole.
Chad S. and Karen L. Farace of Fairfield, Pa., say in their suit, filed in Carroll County Circuit Court, that their son, Joshua, was visiting his paternal grandparents in New Windsor on Feb. 16 when the accident occurred.
As he had done on many occasions, Joshua went to the home of Wilson S. and Karen M. Tarr to play with their two children that afternoon. After playing television video games, the three children decided to go out in the yard and play on the swing, the suit says.
The backyard swing set had been repaired by attaching a rope to the swing seat and pulling it around the top frame rail, the suit claims.
While Joshua was swinging, the rope broke and the boy was "thrown into the side rail . . . with tremendous force," the suit alleges.
In addition to gum surgery, Joshua will require partial dentures until he can be fitted with a permanent dental plate, the suit says.
"My clients aren't angry, but they are hurt," said Millard D. Bloom, the Faraces' attorney. "The children still like each other, but it's just one of those things. It's an unfortunate situation."
Several attempts to reach the Tarrs have been unsuccessful.
The Faraces contend that their son was an invited guest of the Tarrs and that the Tarrs failed to warn Joshua about the swing's danger.
The Tarrs told Mr. Bloom that the boy was not an invited guest at their home Feb. 16, the suit says, even though the boy had visited the home on countless occasions previously.
"The Tarrs told their homeowners' insurance company that Josh was a trespasser on their property," Mr. Bloom said. "I find that hard to believe. They've all always known each other."
The suit claims that "at no time . . . did the defendants ever suggest that Josh was not welcomed at" their home.
Mr. Bloom said that because the Tarrs told their insurance company Joshua was not welcome on their property, the company would not pay the Faraces for the boy's medical expenses.
"The homeowners' insurance would have paid for it, but only if the Tarrs said Josh was a guest," Mr. Bloom said.