A Pennsylvania company sued by the family of an injured Utah Little League player says its bunk beds come with a recommendation to use guard rails.
Savoy Contract Furniture of Montoursville and Little League Baseball were recently sued by the family of Easton Oliverson, 12, who fractured his skull when he fell from a bunk bed while sleeping in the player dorms for the 2022 Little League World Series in South Williamsport in August.
The lawsuit filed by Jace and Nancy Oliverson in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas alleges both were negligent because the beds did not have rails. According to the lawsuit, Little League Baseball failed to equip the upper bunks with rails to protect its occupants, causing Easton Oliverson to fall” and Savoy sold “dangerous and defective” bunk beds that “caused significant and permanent injuries to” Easton.
Little League Baseball and Savoy said they do not comment on pending litigation. Savoy, in an email today, briefly described its procedure when selling bunk beds.
“Savoy Contract Furniture cannot comment on pending litigation.
However, our standard operating procedure when quoting single beds that have bunking capability is adding guard rails and ladders to the quotation and state clearly ‘For Safety and Fall Prevention, Savoy Strongly Recommends the Use of Guard Rails and Ladders when Beds are Bunked or Lofted.’
In addition to the quoting procedure, there are two warning labels affixed to each bed recommending the use of guard rails and ladders to any bed bunked or lofted,” said Adam Savoy, vice president of Savoy Contract Furniture in the email.
Easton, 12, of St. George, Utah, was initially treated at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville after falling from the bunk bed. He fell two days before the 2022 Little League World Series started. His team, the Snow Canyon All Stars, was the first team from Utah to ever go to the LLWS. The team represented the Mountain Region.
After undergoing surgery at Geisinger on the day he fell, Aug. 15, and again on Aug. 26, Easton was transferred to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. His family said on Facebook on Saturday, Sept. 17, that Easton has “multiple infections” and “has started suffering multiple seizures each day that the doctors are now working to address.”
On Monday, Sept. 19, the Oliverson family reported that Easton had been sent home where he will continue to recover. The family said Easton “still has a very long road ahead.”
Ken Fulginiti, owner/partner at Duffy + Fulginiti, the firm that filed the lawsuit, said he is aware of one other case of a boy who suffered a concussion in the same manner in the dorms in 2019.
Fulginiti said he talked to the boy’s father who told him “in his dealings with Little League they promised they would have bed rails for these children. and that was three years ago. There is no reason why they needed bunk beds and no reason they didn’t have railings.”
Fulginiti said his firm was scheduled to inspect the dormitory where the accident happened, however, he said Little League canceled the inspection “and indicated they would prefer a lawsuit be filed.”
A photo in the guide for parents shows three sets of wooden bunk beds close together with ladder-type pieces on each end, drawers underneath and no railings. Players stay in the Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove, which is part of the Little League International Complex.
The day after Easton fell, Little League said it was removing the bunk beds from the player dorms. At the time, Kevin Fountain, senior director of communications at Little League International, told PennLive that Little League decided to remove all the bunks from within the dorms, instead making sure each bed frame is set up on the floor.
READ MORE ABOUT EASTON’S JOURNEY