Oregon Youth Pastor Sues Walmart for $3 Million After He Broke His Neck During Game of Bubble Ball

Pastor Joshua Ashley after his accident in 2017. | Screenshot: GoFundMe

An Oregon youth pastor who doctor’s say miraculously survived after breaking his neck at a church camp during a game using a “Bubble Ball” he purchased from Walmart is now, along with his wife, suing the retail giant for more than $3 million.

In a federal lawsuit cited by The Oregonian, Joshua Ashley of Milton-Freewater and his wife allege that the harness that strapped him inside the large inflatable ball broke, catapulting him head-first into another player’s ball.

De Wilbourne, the children’s program director at Valley Christian Center in Milton Freewater, explained in a GoFundMe campaign — launched on behalf of the pastor shortly after the accident that took place in the summer of 2017 — that Josh, now 32, and his wife, Katie, were serving as youth pastors at his church.

“Josh broke his neck in a freak accident while serving as a counselor at church camp. The doctors told Josh’s family when he was airlifted to Portland, it was a miracle that he didn’t die on impact or paralyzed from the neck down,” Wilbourne said.

As a result of the accident, the pastor’s lawyer, Ron K.Cheng, said he was immobilized and bedridden for nearly a year but has since regained his movement. His neck fracture also didn’t sever his nerves. But he continues to suffer from memory loss.

The suit against Walmart argues that the Bubble Ball was in “an unreasonably dangerous and defective condition” and that the company failed to inspect it for any defects or warn users of potential dangers.

Included in the lawsuit is a photo of the box, which advertised it as the “MOST EXTREME CONTACT SPORT EVER!’’

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair