The responsibility for ensuring the well-being of patrons falls squarely on the shoulders of amusement park owners, operators, and manufacturers. They bear a duty to meticulously craft rides that prioritize the safety of those who embark upon them.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an amusement park accident, you may be entitled to legal recourse. This includes the possibility of pursuing legal action against the owners, operators, or manufacturers of the attraction itself. Our team of experienced attorney specializes in representing victims of amusement park injuries, offering dedicated assistance to individuals impacted by incidents like the harrowing Daytona Beach Sand Blaster mishap. Moreover, we extend our support to victims of Medical Malpractice and Car Accidents alike.
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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016, a staggering 30,900 individuals sought medical attention in emergency rooms as a result of injuries sustained from amusement park rides. It is disconcerting to note that this figure encompasses injuries suffered by children as well.
In a revealing study conducted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 2013, it was disclosed that roughly 4,000 children require emergency room treatment annually due to injuries sustained at amusement parks. Astonishingly, this amounts to an average of twenty injuries per day during the summer season alone. Furthermore, it is disheartening to learn that the average age of those injured is a mere 8 years.
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s data, the head and neck are the most commonly injured body parts.
The following are other common injuries that can occur at amusement parks:
Ride operators must be properly supervised and have stable structures as well as working parts to ensure a safe experience.
Injuries are usually caused by a combination of these factors.
The absence of restraints in interactive and unrestrained attractions such as water slides and inflatable devices significantly heightens the safety risk. It is crucial for owners and operators to effectively communicate the potential dangers inherent in these activities to their patrons.
State and local regulations govern amusement park attractions, but they lack uniformity. Remarkably, three states have no laws or regulations in place concerning amusement park safety. Additionally, nine states, namely Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, lack agencies responsible for overseeing amusement park safety. Notably, Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming are among the states without any specific laws or regulations regarding amusement park safety.
In Florida, the Department of Agriculture regulates amusement parks, carnivals, and small amusement parks. Surprisingly, popular attractions such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens are exempt from submitting accident reports or undergoing investigations.
However, this was not always the case. Before 1981, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) held authority over regulating mobile carnivals and amusement parks. Congress then closed a loophole that prevented the federal government from investigating amusement park accident reports, sharing information with manufacturers, and requiring manufacturers to address design flaws to enhance rider safety.
As a result, the CPSC was replaced by a patchwork of regulations. In 1999, Ed Markey, a former Democratic representative from Massachusetts, introduced a bill aimed at reinstating federal oversight of amusement parks. However, the bill faced opposition, with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) reportedly spending around $11 million in lobbying efforts against it, according to Consumers Digest.
Jim Prager, a former executive of Six Flags and a board member for IAAPA, played a role in opposing the amusement park regulatory loophole in 1980. In a recent CNN interview, he acknowledged that granting local and state authorities exclusive oversight of amusement parks had proven to be a flawed decision. He emphasized that the current laws fail to adequately protect children, stating, “We’ve not done enough to ensure rides are safe, and we should do even more.”
Two passengers fell 34 feet when the Sand Blaster roller coaster partially derailed, emphasizing the immediate need for more stringent safety regulations.
Attorney Alla Tenina is currently representing five victims involved in the Daytona Beach Sand Blaster crash. On June 14, 2018, the roller coaster experienced a partial derailment, resulting in two riders plunging 34 feet while others awaited rescue. Reports indicate that the ride had previously failed inspections due to excessive corrosion and other hazards.
Another tragic incident, known as the 2017 Fire Ball accident, took place at the Ohio State Fair. Once again, excessive corrosion played a significant role. The gondola of the ride detached and collided with a metal support beam, resulting in seven injuries and one fatality.
In 2016, following a devastating accident, the Verruckt Water Slide at the Kansas City Schlitterbahn Waterpark was permanently closed. This slide garnered recognition as the tallest water slide in the world. Tragically, a 10-year-old victim lost their life when the raft they were riding struck a metal bar. In response, the ride’s manufacturers and owners ultimately paid $20 million to the victim’s family as a settlement.
These incidents serve as somber reminders of the pressing need for enhanced safety measures within amusement parks.
The following parties may be liable for personal injury claims filed by injured patrons:
If any of these parties is found at fault, then victims can recover damages for pain and discomfort, medical expenses, lost wages in the past and future, and other damages.
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