As a fixture in regional fairs and large events like the Canadian National Exhibition, Ferris wheels, rollercoasters, and other amusement park rides are a common scene across Canada and the United States during the summer months. These rides are, in general, a perfectly safe source of old-fashioned fun, but a small malfunction or instance of negligence can render them extremely dangerous. In fact, personal injury lawyers are hired each year to represent victims of amusement park ride accidents.
On July 16, a ride called the Fire Ball broke apart while in operation at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. Seven people were injured in the accident, and one teen boy lost his life. Organizers insisted that the ride had passed all required inspections.
The Fire Ball incident is not isolated: four people were killed in an accident at Australia’s Dreamworld amusement park in October 2016; last August, one boy was killed and three girls were injured in separate events in Kansas and Tennessee which occurred on the same day.
Even Canada is not immune: in 1986, a roller coaster crash at the West Edmonton Mall resulted in three deaths, and in 1998 a 21-year-old died when he was flung from a ‘reverse bungee’ ride at the Central Canadian Exhibition in Ottawa.
Experienced personal injury lawyers will tell you that amusement park accidents can be extremely serious. In 2013, for instance, 16-year-old Adam Martens suffered severe spinal injuries and was left quadriplegic after an accident at the Red River Exhibition in Winnipeg. What recourse do injury victims have in these situations? Martens sued the Ex and North American Midway Entertainment for damages.
Amusement park injury lawsuits
Amusement park injury lawsuits generally focus on either negligence or product liability. Negligence in this scenario can take many forms, including failing to post clear and visible warning signs; posting signs that don’t adequately describe the risks posed by the ride; failing to properly instruct riders; failing to train ride operators; failing to regularly inspect the ride; and improperly operating the ride.
In cases where the ride owners or operators have done nothing wrong, the manufacturer of the ride may be at fault. For instance, if a roller coaster’s safety bar becomes unsecured and a rider falls from their seat, the manufacturer of the ride – or the of safety bar – could be liable for the victim’s injuries.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at an amusement park, contact the personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP to learn how we can help. Our team has represented injured Ontarians in a wide variety of personal injury cases and would be happy to help you understand your rights and pursue compensation.