Frank Successfully Defends Balloon Ride Operator of Negligence
David A. Frank II (Associate-Milwaukee) obtained a defense verdict in favor of a hot air balloon operator accused of negligence in Racine County Circuit Court. The operator was giving tethered balloon rides at an air show when an un-forecasted gust front caused the balloon to crash into the plaintiff’s craft tent, allegedly damaging it. At the court trial, the judge ruled in the operator’s favor on both liability and damages, agreeing with David that there was no evidence of negligence. The judge also determined that the operator’s conduct was reasonable in that he had closely monitored the weather at all relevant times. With respect to damages, the court determined that the damage was caused by a force majeure and not any negligence on the part of the balloon operator. A YouTube video of the incident further established that the balloon did not cause any damage to the subject tent.