Were you recently hurt attempting the “milk crate challenge”? With the popularity of apps like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, we are seeing more and more so-called “challenges” commanding attention online. From benevolent examples such as the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS research to dangerous ones such as the Tide Pod Challenge, it seems like there is no limit to how far people will go in an attempt to go “viral”.
One of the latest crazes is known as the “milk crate challenge”. For those who do not know, the milk crate challenge involves stacking milk crates in a pyramid or stair-like formation. The person then attempts to walk up to the top of the stacked milk crates before climbing down again. The milk crates at their highest point are usually stacked 5-8 crates high, meaning that the person is typically 5 or more feet off the ground at the highest point. As you can imagine, the stacks of milk crates are very unstable, this viral trend has resulted in a plethora of videos of people falling awkwardly onto a pile of plastic crates. In fact, from the videos circulating online, it appears you are far more likely to fail at this “challenge” than you are to succeed.
There have been reports of significant injuries, including broken bones, as a result of this challenge. However, another important consideration aside from protecting your health is the legal consequences you may face for setting up one of these milk crate pyramids on your property.
Should you choose to pursue this challenge at your home in hopes of becoming the next viral sensation, you should be aware that if someone is injured while attempting this challenge, you may be liable for the injuries they suffered while on your property. Under South Carolina law, a property owner is required to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. A property owner can be held liable for the injuries of another if caused by a dangerous condition on the property when that dangerous condition was caused and/or created by the owner. Though general liability is imposed on a property owner, the obligation/duty of the property owner is based upon the status of the injured party. Inviting guests to participate in such obviously dangerous activities would very likely fall afoul of this obligation.
You might be thinking that if someone chooses to participate in this challenge at your home and winds up injured, then they are ultimately the author of their own misfortune. While there is some truth to that, you should consider that if your guests are inebriated or under the age of 18, their judgment may be impaired. In such a scenario, there is a meaningful risk that you would be held liable for setting up and encouraging people to engage in such a risky activity.
Another thing to take into consideration is the legal concept of assumption of the risk that comes up frequently in personal injury cases. The assumption of risk means that you knew that there was the potential for injury while participating in whatever activity you were involved in at the time you were injured. The law has determined that certain activities come with an innate risk, and plaintiffs who voluntarily participate in these activities—and become injured as a result—can not sue based on a negligence theory. In other words, the defense holds that people who choose to do certain dangerous activities cannot turn around and hold others liable when they are injured as a result of those activities.
At the end of the day, the videos that are the most viral are the ones showing the worst falls. If you aspire to become an internet sensation, then surely you would rather be known for your triumphs as opposed to your injuries or the injuries of your friends and family.
If you’ve been hurt attempting the “milk crate challenge”, let the Lee Injury Law Firm help you decide if you have a case. Questions? Give us a call (803) 500-0000.