Summer is here and that means families and friends will be heading to theme parks for a fun and safe day in the sun. While theme parks employ hundreds of ride supervisors and security personnel to ensure the safety of park visitors, unfortunate accidents still happen.
A clear example is the recent water slide accident this past Memorial Day Weekend at The Wave, a newly opened water park in Dublin, CA. California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) authorized The Emerald Plunge, to operate during the grand opening of the park and entertain park attendees. Unfortunately, the water slide caused an accident where one of the riders, a 10 year-old boy, was whipped off of the slide, skidded onto the concrete, and suffered injuries.
While there is no clear data collected or recorded to document injuries or fatalities that occur at theme parks, incidents are commonly reported by the news media. Theme parks are known for their thrills, but patrons are still owed a duty of care from the park operators to ensure they can safely enjoy their day. At a minimum, park operators must perform adequate ride maintenance and conduct regular inspections. If one suffers an injury caused by a malfunction, a violation of a regulation, or a lack of adequate care, the injured party may be able to prove the theme park is responsible for their injuries.
Many accidents occur on park rides or roller coasters. If machinery causes an accident, the injured party may have a claim against the park operators, as well as the manufacturers of the equipment. A theme park can also be held responsible if a patron sustains an injury because of a park employee’s negligence, such as an employee’s lack of supervision or improper training. Furthermore, the manufacturer of the machinery can be liable if the product is defective, violates protocol, or malfunctions in a way that was reasonably foreseeable. Product liability claims can arise when there is a defect in the ride’s equipment or parts that directly caused the injury.
Let Kershaw Talley Barlow help you if you, or someone you know has suffered an injury at a water or amusement park. Call our office at (916) 520-6639 for a free case evaluation.