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Fun workplaces are all the rage, but it turns out they can also be dangerous. Rackspace Hosting, a cloud computing company, installed a two-story slide at its Texas headquarters and is now being sued for the second time over injuries sustained on the slide.
While the first slide-related lawsuit against Rackspace settled in January, the latest was just filed this week.
An IT executive sued Rackspace in 2013 after he broke his leg on the slide while touring the company's office outside San Antonio. After hearing the slide was a "rite of passage," Daniel Dunkel took a ride. Unfortunately, Dunkel's dress shoe caught on the inside of the slide, causing him to break his tibia and fibula which had to be surgically repaired.
Rackspace responded to Dunkel's personal injury lawsuit by noting the many warning signs at the top of the slide. Riders were allegedly on notice that wearing rubber-soled shoes on the slide could result in injury and to keep their feet raised while using the slide.
Dunkel dropped the suit as part of an out-of-court settlement in January of this year. The terms of the settlement have not been released.
Just one month after news of Dunkel's settlement was released, Lisa Carroll, a Rackspace employee, filed a suit against the company after her son broke his leg on the slide. Carrroll's son Leighton also caught his foot on the slide, fracturing his left tibia. Carroll is asking for anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million in injury damages.
At this time, Rackspace has not publicly responded to Carroll's lawsuit.
Rackspace's headquarters building is actually a former shopping mall, and its indoor slide has been a popular attraction. Then-gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis even stopped by for a ride in October 2013, reaching the bottom without incident. (Although she was careful not to ride with shoes on.)
Injured at the Office
Injury lawsuits are fairly common, though these two present some interesting quirks. First, most workplace injuries affect employees, and neither Dunkel nor Carroll's son were employed by Rackspace. Second, it's unclear what the legal status of either visitor would be in terms of premises liability.