We all love summer and the joy and thrill of amusement parks. Occasionally parks do not take the appropriate measures to keep patrons safe. That's where we come in. We have successfully handled numerous claims throughout Ohio against amusement parks. We hope that our work has helped lessen the impact of injury for impacted families and improved the safety at parks.
In Ohio, we have eight major amusement and water parks. They include:
- Kings Island
- The Beach Waterpark
- Cedar Point Shores
- Zoombezi Bay
- Cedar Point
- Geauga Lake
- Six Flags Worlds of Adventure
- Great Wolf Lodge
What about the disclaimer or release?
Did you know that when you purchase a ticket at one of these establishments, you may also be releasing liability of the amusement park or water park for any injuries you have while on the park property? This is something attorneys work very hard to overcome for their clients. Despite the "liability disclaimer" we have successfully recovered against amusement parks. The disclaimer does not give the park permission to turn a blind eye to safety.
The amusement park industry is no exception to deregulation. In 1981, the Amusement park industry was deregulated, resulting in no national safety standards for fixed and permanent attractions, known as the so-called "roller-coaster loophole." Because of this deregulation, States have had to step in to take control. But, only 44 out of the 50 states regulate amusement parks, luckily Ohio is one of those states.
Past injuries and deaths
- In 1984, eight teens died after being trapped in a haunted castle that was engulfed in flames;
- In 1991, at Kings Island there were three deaths in one day at different parts of the park; two by electrocution and one by a plunging death from a roller coaster after failure of harness and safety bars; and
- In 2016, a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on the world's tallest water slide because of a flawed design.
As for injuries, as of 2016, there were over 30,900 injuries reported. Injuries include, amputations, heart attacks, stokes, drownings, broken bones and more.
According to a CNN article in 2018, "Many parents either assume that the rides at the amusement parks are safe and they're being inspected, or they don't even stop to think about it." It is a fair assumption, but not always the case.
Here are six steps in keeping safe at any type of amusement park or water park:
- Follow all the rules of the park
- Keep your eyes on the children
- Respect the dangers of water and be cautious
- Ride age appropriate rides
- Make sure safety straps and harnesses are secure before leaving the loading area
- If injured, get help IMMEDIATELY
When injuries and death occur
Truth is, accidents happen anywhere, but when companies advertise their amusement park and water parks are fun, safe and thrilling places to attend, individuals put their trust in the establishment to make the experience a thrill not a danger or threat of injury or death. An accident is sometimes just that - an accident. But negligence is something very different and that's why the attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers are here to help injury victims.
Call Rittgers & Rittgers today if you have been injured at any amusement park or water park. We can help and in doing so, hope to make the parks safer for other patrons in the future.