Chuck E. Cheese’s bills itself as a place “where a kid can be a kid.” Is it a restaurant offering recreation or a playground serving pizza? According to the company’s self-description, it’s a “family entertainment center.”
Whatever it is, it appeals to children and, to some extent, the adults who take them there. Grown-ups who believe their progeny should behave themselves while dining are not likely to patronize this kid-centric, food-and-fun experience.
Chuck E. Cheese’s offers reluctant disciplinarians a safe environment for their free-range offspring. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s a place “where an adult can be a kid.”
Even at Chuck E. Cheese’s, grownups should act like grownups. They should keep an eye on their children and make sure they play nice, avoid running amok and stay in areas appropriate to their ages (e.g., the “Toddler Zone,” the “Kiddie Area,” “Skill Games & Arcades,” etc.).
Chuck E. Cheese’s is not a daycare center. Parents are not allowed to drop their kids off there and come back for them later. Staying on the premises but ignoring them the whole time is not acceptable either.
Nevertheless, anyone who’s ever been to Chuck E. Cheese’s knows that some parents don’t take their responsibilities too seriously. Occasionally, kids get hurt when the adults aren’t paying enough attention.
Some negligent parents may want to blame Chuck E. Cheese’s for their children’s mishaps. Some may even pounce on some mishap in hopes of extracting tidy-sum settlements.
Glenn and Melinda McWherter waited two years before filing suit against Chuck E. Cheese’s in Jefferson County District Court. They’re seeking more than $1 million in damages for an injury that allegedly occurred to their 8-year old daughter when she pulled a headset down on her head while trying to play a game meant for older kids.
The McWherters blame Chuck E. Cheese’s, but the problem is apparent.