A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit alleging Chuck-E-Cheese failed to provide children with a 34-page instruction manual before using an “enticing” arcade game.
On behalf of their minor daughter, Glenn and Melinda McWherter filed suit against CEC Entertainment (Chuck-E-Cheese) on Oct. 21, 2013 in Jefferson County District Court, seeking more than $1 million in damages.
Court records show that on April 26 the parties notified the court that their differences have been resolved following a mediation session the day before.
According to the original petition, on Nov. 5, 2011, Melinda and her 8-year old daughter were customers at Chuck-E-Cheese. While attempting to play a “violent electronic game called Vortex V3,” Melinda’s daughter was injured.
“The play area at Chuck-E-Cheese was chaotic and no effective supervision was provided by the staff there,” the suit states. “The exciting graphics and design had their intended effect of enticing (Melinda’s daughter) to play with it.”
The suit does not state what Melinda was doing at the time of the incident or whether she was or was not supervising her daughter.
The child was injured when she pulled the game’s “heavy” headset down on her head. The impact caused headaches and nausea, the suit states.
“Although the 34 page owner’s manual … cautions that it should be read before use and that it should ‘remain with the machine at all times’, it was not kept with machine and neither the (child) nor her parents were afforded the opportunity to read it. Neither did defendant post a sign advising of the importance of reading the manual’s safety precautions before use.”
The suit further says the manual instructs guardians of small children to keep watch over their children during play, and that Chuck-E-Cheese breached its duty to the McWherters by “failing to keep watch over (their child) during play” and by failing to warn them that supervision was necessary for her safety.
The McWherters alleged Chuck-E-Cheese failed in its duty to keep small children safe in the play area.
They accused the defendant of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and sought to recover economic damages, damages for their mental anguish, loss of consortium, medical expenses and their daughter’s physical pain, impairment and lost wages.
Attorney Darrell Minton of the Vidor firm Minton & Marion represents them.
Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.
Case No. D194-915