Amusement Park Ride Leaves Boy Dead, Brother Critically Injured
An Iowa regulator halted an amusement park ride at a major area amusement park after an 11-year-old boy lost his life and his brother was left critically injured. The ride, called the Raging River, has since been shut down by Iowa’s regulatory bureau. The amusement park voluntarily shut down the ride after the boy’s death. A boat on the Raging River carrying six members of the family flipped over. The six members of the family were trapped by their safety belts.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, but in 2016, an employee of the park was killed on the same ride.
Amusement park rides and civil liability
Amusement parks are strictly liable for their rides, meaning that a plaintiff need only establish they were injured on the ride to recover damages. Further, the designer of the ride can be held liable for engineering an unsafe ride. A close look will be taken at the boat which holds passengers along the Raging River. It should not flip over ever, and when it does, it should not trap passengers in the boat.
The ride has been inspected five times since 2016 and has passed inspections every year. The last inspection occurred only hours before the tragic death. The death marked the first death in the theme park’s 47-year history.
Elements of negligence
After an employee was killed on the ride due to what investigators claimed was an “operating error”, attorneys for the family noted that the ride was located far from the main park which slowed the rescue response. Now a widow, she told reporters that her heart breaks for the family who lost their child, and it was disappointing to see that no improvements had been made to the ride since 2016. The delay made it more difficult for rescuers to access the victim, and more difficult for rescuers to get victims to the hospital. Off-duty first responders provided the initial support for the family.
The employee was killed when another employee started the ride while the first employee was trying to usher park patrons off the ride. He slipped and fell into the water where his head was wedged between the boat and a wall. The employee died of head trauma. His family filed a lawsuit against the park and settled it for an undisclosed amount of money.
The park will now face one wrongful death lawsuit and five injury lawsuits relating to the incident. Since they are strictly liable for injuries that occur on their rides, they will not be able to present any defense to the allegations unless they can prove that one of the family members capsized the boat.
Talk to a Miami Amusement Park Liability Lawyer Today
If you’re injured on an amusement park ride, you are entitled to recover damages related to your injuries. Call the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.