Dutch product safety authority admits liability in 4-year-old's death

One of the bouncy attractions at Happy Days in Grootebroek, Noord-Holland (Photo: Happy Days Noord-Holland/Facebook)One of the bouncy attractions at Happy Days in Grootebroek, Noord-Holland (Photo: Happy Days Noord-Holland/Facebook)

The Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA admitted liability for an accident in December 2015 in which a 4-year-old boy died. Maurycy Biernacki fell from a play set at indoor playground Happy Days in Grootebroek and died a few days later.

The play set did not meet safety requirements. That should have come to light during NVWA inspections, but mistakes were made, a spokesperson said to NOS. 

The NVWA inspected the playground in 2013. During that inspection the authority found that the play set in question did not have certificates of approval. The owner of the play ground promised to send the certificates to the NVWA, but that never happened. According to NVWA guidelines, the play set should have been closed, but it wasn't. The NVWA also never did a follow-up inspection at the playground. 

The Dutch authority initially insisted that the play set in question was not at the playground during the 2013 inspection. According to the NVWA, new information emerged this summer that showed that the set was indeed there during the inspection.

The NVWA acknowledged that the inspection in 2013 and the authority's actions afterwards did not meet the requirements. The organization apologized to the boy's parents and is in talks with them. The parents previously demanded compensation from the NVWA.

The Public Prosecutor decided not to prosecute the NVWA, but there are criminal cases ongoing against a kindergarten teacher and two playground employees. They are suspected of death through negligence.