Myrtle Beach has several water parks – they are fun, they are a great way to cool off in the summer, and, for the most part, they are safe.
Until they aren’t. When things go wrong, sometimes they go terribly wrong.
For example, the designer of a waterslide at an amusement park in Kansas has been charged with murder after a 10-year boy was decapitated on it…
Who is responsible when an unthinkable tragedy like this happens? You can’t fix it. You can’t turn back the clock, make the ride safe, and bring back the beautiful 10-year old boy who was so excited to have a fun day at the amusement park…
The designer has been charged with murder, but a wrongful death lawsuit will follow – who pays?
The World’s Tallest Water Slide
The water slide is 17 stories high and was designed in a rush “to impress producers of the Travel Channel’s Xtreme Waterparks series… groups of riders first zoomed down a nearly vertical, 168-foot main descent. Then they ascended 50 feet above the ground, propelled by inertia and a series of high-pressure water blasters.”
According to the murder indictment, neither of the two designers “possessed any kind of technical or engineering credential relevant to amusement ride design or safety.”
Sometimes, riders would “go airborne” as they came down the slide’s chute – the 10-year old boy did just that and was decapitated by metal poles that were looped overhead.
Before the 10-year-old’s death, there were 13 other injuries, “including two concussions and one case of temporary blindness.” But, they kept the ride open anyway…
How Common are Amusement Park and Water Park Injuries?
No one knows.
The amusement park industry is not regulated, there are no requirements for reporting injuries, and the parks require confidentiality agreements as a condition for settling any lawsuits…
Although we don’t know the exact number, we do know that accidents, injuries, and deaths happen at amusements parks and water parks across the country – but, most incidents do not make the news.
Common Types of Injuries at Water Parks and Amusement Parks
Some of the more common types of hazards at amusement parks include:
- Rides with defective designs that can cause a person to fall out of their seat, be thrown from a ride, or be struck by an object (like the 10-year old boy above);
- Rides that are unsupervised, or the attendant walks away;
- Games that expose the players to thrown objects, rebounding objects, or other design defects that can hurt a person;
- Falling objects – you aren’t expected to wear a hard hat at the amusement park. But, there are numerous rides and attractions that rise above the crowds, and the park must ensure that objects cannot fall onto customers heads;
- Broken machines, engines, or equipment that cause a ride to malfunction, injuring the riders; and
- Slip and fall accidents caused by spills, leaks, or other slipping hazards.
What Types of Lawsuits are Filed Against Amusement Parks and Water Parks?
Amusement park or water park lawsuits can be complex – there are usually multiple defendants and multiple causes of action. The causes of action filed may include:
- Negligence – someone breached a duty of care that resulted in the injuries;
- Premises liability – you are an invited guest at the theme park, and its owners and operators have a duty to keep their customers safe; and
- Product liability – the manufacturers may be responsible for injuries caused by design defects in the rides or components of rides.
- Wrongful death – the defendants must compensate the survivors of any person who is killed because of their negligence.
Depending on the nature and cause of the injuries, the defendants named in an amusement park or water park lawsuit may include:
- Manufacturers of rides;
- Designers of rides; or
- Third party companies who provide services at the theme park.
SC Amusement Park and Water Park Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, Conway, Columbia, and Charleston
If you have been hurt at a water park or amusement park in SC because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from the guilty parties.