An Oregon mom is suing for negligence after an overcrowded Easter egg hunt allegedly led her to suffer serious injuries, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.
Rachel Townsend of Hillsboro has filed a lawsuit against both the venue where the egg hunt took place and the event planning company that hosted the egg hunt. In the lawsuit, she claims the defendants should have known the activity would cause harm if not conducted safely and blames them for allegedly not controlling the crowd.
According to the lawsuit, Townsend attended the event called “The Hatter’s Easter Extravaganza” on March 26, 2016, at The Aerie at Eagle Landing in Happy Valley, hosted by event planning company Red Shoe Productions. Townsend said she paid admission for an egg hunt designed for smaller children, and brought along her son and niece.
The lawsuit states that as the hunt began, however, the field was rushed by older children and unregistered participants, causing Townsend to be separated from her niece. Townsend was then “pushed from behind and knocked to the ground,” causing her to be injured, according to the lawsuit.
She is suing for a total of $112,411, citing negligence and personal injuries. The lawsuit states that her injuries included a torn meniscus in her left knee, a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, sprains and strains. Townsend also alleges that she underwent surgery on her left knee and incurred $9,411 in medical expenses and lost wages totaling $3,000.
The hunt was “supposed to be limited to only those with children four years of age and under and those who had paid admission,” the lawsuit states.
Townsend’s attorney, Ryan Lee, has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.
According to an event flyer posted by Red Shoe Productions, tickets for the “Eggstravaganza” were priced at $5 per person. The egg hunt for children ages 4 and under took place at 2 p.m, while the one for 5 to 8 years was at 2:30 p.m. and the one for ages 9 to 12 began at 3 p.m.
Townsend says in the lawsuit that unpaid guests participated in the event as well as children outside of the 4-and-under age group. Because of this, Townsend alleges that the event became overcrowded, creating a safety hazard. She also says that the defendants set up the egg hunt on a sloped and uneven surface, according to the lawsuit.
Cassandra Ashby, a mom of two from Oregon City, also attended “The Hatter’s Easter Extravaganza” in 2016. She described last year’s event as “a madhouse.”
“When we lined up for the egg hunt, my son was 5 at the time, and there were parents running out on the field opening the eggs,” Ashby told ABC News. “Only the kids were supposed to enter the area where the eggs were and there were parents that didn’t abide by that.”
Ashby said she was not positive if there were children outside of her son’s age group participating in his timeslot.
She said she is also unsure whether unpaid guests attended the event, but said it was “absolutely possible” to walk onto the golf course where the egg hunt took place without paying admission.
On the event’s Facebook page, a few other parents discussed their experiences.
“We had a great time!” one wrote.
“I saw adults with no kid near by [sic] picking up eggs right in front of my 2 year old.. really??” shared another. “We loved the characters though! The bunny arriving by helicopter was his favorite part.”
Townsend is suing for $100,000 in noneconomic damages in addition to the $12,411 for medical expenses and lost wages.
Both defendants, The Aerie at Eagle Landing and Red Shoe Productions, did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comments.
Townsend says in the lawsuit that the defendants were negligent in failing to provide sufficient personnel to conduct the Easter egg hunt safely.