The owner of Action Joe’s, a party rental company that rents out Bungee Trampolines, Hamster Balls, Portable Rock Walls, Zip Lines & Inflatable Slides has been accused of producing child pornography. Police were first contact on March 18th when a woman called saying that the owner (Joe Masters) had tried to molest her 9 year old daughter. The St. Ann Missouri police obtained a search warrant for his home & hidden surveillance video of children in his home. In one video a girl was taped using the bathroom.

They released Masters that Monday but he was again arrested Thursday on a federal criminal charge for producing child pornography. Joe Masters had two previous incidents with the law. On was an indecency charge in 1992 & the other an improper touching charge in 2013. These two previous charges were dropped and Master’s is not registered as a sex offender. In addition he has not yet been charged for the allegations and he denies that he inappropriately touched any children.

While the article does sound very condemning, we do live in a country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. On Monday the Action Joe’s email & phone number were turned off. If Mr. Master’s is indeed innocent in regards to events that may have happened with his party rental business, that is where Abuse & Molestation Insurance Coverage would come in. Another thought on this situation…should owners of businesses that cater to children be required to have a background check before they are allowed to open the business? Comment your thoughts below.

Source

St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “St. Ann man who runs bungee trampoline business accused of producing child porn.” http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-ann-man-who-runs-bungee-trampoline-business-accused-of/article_91e6856b-9fc5-5b8d-81a9-744a762e2da1.html April 11, 2016

KMOV St. Louis. “Owner of bounce house company accused of recording kids using bathroom, making child porn”. http://www.kmov.com/story/31695456/st-ann-man-accused-of-making-child-porn. April 11, 2016

This entry was originally posted in Party Rental Equipment Articles and tagged Abuse & Molestation, Bungee Trampoline, Giant Hamster Balls, Inflatable Slides, Party Rentals, Portable Rock Walls, Zip Lines on April 14, 2016 by Larry.


At a Cinco de Mayo carnival in Omaha, Nebraska an 11 year old girl’s scalp was torn from her head when her long hair got caught in a carnival ride called “King’s Crown”. Witnesses say that she slipped from her seat onto the floor of the ride and her hair got caught in the spinning mechanism in the middle of the ride. The ride kept spinning for up to 5–10 minutes as people yelled for the operator to stop the ride. She also suffered a skull fracture in the incident. Graphic images after her surgery show where her scalp was reattached right along her eyes. Her family says the doctor’s do not know if the girl will ever be able to see again.

An NBC Omaha News station reached out to our owner Larry Cossio (whom they call the carnival insurance expert) to find out what type of insurance process would take place in a situation like this. While this is not one of our insured companies, Larry told Omaha News that smalls claims usually take about 2–3 months to be settled, but with a severe bodily injury like this one it could take 1–3 years because the claims will normally go to court. Many things go into play such as medical bills, pain and suffering, the reaction of staff & the safety of the amusement ride. This means that not only the operators but also the ride manufacturers may be held responsible for an accident like this.

Carnival Ride Operators should make sure that rides are periodically inspected by a professional for safety & also do daily inspections on the rides. Operators must also make sure that riders are properly fastened in their seats so that they can not slip out. Any spinning or moving mechanisms should not be exposed for hair and or body parts to become caught in.

Sources
Omaha NBC News 6. “Insurance claims like the carnival ride accident take years, experts say”. http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/Insurance-claims-like-the-carnival-ride-accident-take-years-experts-say-378741141.html. May 9, 2016.

NBC News. “Girl Injured on Nebraska Carnival Ride May Never See Again”. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/father-girl-injured-nebraska-carnival-ride-she-was-tortured-n570821. May 10, 2016.

This entry was originally posted in Carnival Rides, Family Fun Center, General Articles, Party Rental Equipment Articles and tagged Carnival Insurance Expert, Carnival Rides, Cinco de Mayo, Girl Scalped on May 10, 2016 by Larry.

Mechanical Bulls can be very safe but they can also be very dangerous depending on if you are following safety tips properly. Here are some mechanical bull safety tips that can help you make sure that riders stay safe on your mechanical bull.
1) Make sure that the bull is operated by an attendant that understands how to safely operate the bull and knows the rider restrictions. Younger children can safely ride the bull as long as the operator knows how to control the movement to keep the bull from bucking the child violently.
2) Make sure that the inflatable padding surrounding the bull does not have any gaps in which the rider could fall and injure themselves. It is especially important to make sure that the support beams of the mechanical bull are properly covered.
3) You should never let intoxicated persons ride the bull.
4) Never let more than one person ride the mechanical bull at one time. If a child is not big enough to ride the bull by themselves they should not be riding the bull at all, even with a parent.
5) Make sure that cords are properly covered or secured down so that no one can trip and make sure that you have the bull plugged into the correct type of outlet.
6) Regularly inspect your bull for damage or malfunction.
7) Make sure that the area surrounding the bull setup is free of objects that could harm the rider in case they are thrown of the inflatable padding.
8) Your bull should not have any sharp horns and the head should be soft.

These safety tips can drastically reduce the risk of accidents on your mechanical bull. However, even with the strictest safety accidents can happen. That is why it is important to make sure that your equipment is properly insured. Find out more about our mechanical bull insurance.

This entry was posted in General Articles, Inflatables, Party Rental Equipment Articles and tagged Amusement Device Insurance, Mechanical Bulls on May 7, 2013 by Larry.

In June 2013 three children were injured when an inflatable device collapsed on them while they were jumping inside. Why did the bounce house collapse? The generator running the bounce house blower ran out of gas. This could have been easily avoided by checking the gas in the generator before it was dropped off at the party.

Do you have a safety check list that you run through every day? If not, first of all you need to make one. If you already have one, great! Make sure that you add “check generator gas” to your bounce house safety checklist if you use a generator to power your bounce house blowers.

You can read the full news article here: http://bit.ly/11uW7RK

This entry was posted in Inflatables, Party Rental Equipment Articles and tagged Bounce House Insurance, Inflatable Safety, Safety Checklist on June 10, 2013 by Larry.

So, what causes claims in the inflatable rental industry? From reviewing the claims reports, doing inspections, seeing the items that are being repaired and why, I can name quite a few issues. I have been insuring inflatables for 14 years now and have seen a lot of issues that could be avoided with a little training. This article is to help the rental operator avoid the potential of claims that could cause their insurance to be non-renewed or increased premiums.

First let’s start with the basics, the inflatable devices themselves. You would be amazed at how many devices I see being rented that have issues such as rips, tears, unattached steps, cracked vinyl, torn slide panels, torn netting on the sides of bounce house, etc. I understand wanting to rent the item, but sending out one that has issues will eventually cost you thousands in claims, deductibles, and lost business due to people saying negative things about your inventory. Bottom line, do not send a unit out that needs ANYTHING repaired on it.

Next take a look at your waiver and rental agreement. Hopefully you have incorporated or formed an LLC so your personal assets are not at risk. Does your paperwork have the corporate name as well as your business name included? Has your attorney reviewed your documents to make sure they correspond with your states regulations? If you are a sole proprietor, do you list your name with your business name? For example John Doe dba All My Bouncers would be a smart way to make sure you are covered under that waiver of liability and rental agreement. Does your waiver and rental agreement have strong assumption of risk wording?

Do you always have the person who is named on the contract sign when dropping off or do you allow just anyone to sign? Do you have a safety sheet for operation of the rental units that is signed off by the renter?

Do you have a formal WRITTEN training guide for each device that is in your inventory? Remember if it is not written it doesn’t exist. Verbal training is hearsay. Each employee should have a signed and dated training guide for each device. Have you and your employees received training on each device from the manufacturer? Have you received online training from companies like Sioto? You would be amazed at how many employees have stated to me that they didn’t know the simplest rules of operation of the device. Most of the rules are printed on the side of each device and most employees did not ever read them!

Do you use the right size stakes for the device? What are the right sizes? Do you use the correct weight if using sand bags?

Do you check the weather reports each morning for wind or rain conditions and warn your customer of possible challenges?

Do you take pictures of the device when set up and when picking up to show the status, stakes are in the ground with cones protecting them, the unit is clean, the unit is working, etc.?

These simple steps will pay HUGE dividends for your business and the will help the success and future growth.

This entry was posted in Inflatables, Party Rental Equipment Articles and tagged Party Rental Insurance on March 28, 2013 by Larry.