Amusement Park Liability: Not all Fun and Games
May 10th, 2016
Lack of Standard Regulation to Prevent Carnival Accidents
With the summer fun coming up, it is important to keep in mind that while having fun you must always be aware of the safety risks that come with it. Amusement parks all carry their own unique form of risk. Part of the problem is that there is no oversight body that regulates and licenses them, at least not in Texas.
Mobile or traveling fairs are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There is no clearing house for statistics on amusement parks rides. Some states mandate reporting and the CPSC statistics only capture a portion of the accidents. At the same time, nothing short of 100% full compliance with all safety laws is acceptable for you and your loved ones. Even one shortcut could spell disaster for dozens upon dozens of people.
Liability for Amusement Park Ride Accidents
Legally speaking, injuries at an amusement or theme park are premised upon at least one of three types of cases. The first type of case is negligence. Within the realm of negligence there can be all sorts of activities that would potentially create liability. Certainly the actions or inaction of the employees would create liability for the amusement or theme park. Failure to properly adhere to manufacturer’s ride instructions or failure to properly inspect them are good examples. Failure to warn patrons that certain medical conditions, such as a bad back or recent whiplash may put them at risk is another example.
The second type of case is a premises liability case. Owners must keep their properties in safe repair, so as to not create any patent or latent dangers for patrons who they invite onto their property. The premises must be safe enough for the purported or advertised purpose. For example, it would not be appropriate for a water park facility to operate in an area that has long winters with freezing temperature. Ice at a theme park is a recipe for disaster.
The third type of case is a products liability case. The seller and purveyors of certain products must ensure that their products are safe for their intended and foreseeable use. For example, a merry-go-round manufacturer may intend that everyone will be riding a horse or sitting on one of the benches on the merry-go-round. At the same time, the manufacturer should know and build certain safety features into the apparatus, in case some parents invariably stand next to their children on the merry-go-round. Put another way, a parent standing next to a child on the merry-go-round is foreseeable. Under the umbrella of products liability there can be liability for inadequate design or flaws in the manufacture of the machinery, as well.
Speak to an Attorney Who Handles Amusement Park Ride Accidents
If you or your child suffered an injury at an amusement park in Texas, you deserve an experienced attorney who understands you and your plight. Too often insurance companies will try to deny the full extent of your injuries or that their client is negligent. The law firm of Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. have several decades of experience in representing individuals in trying times. Call: (713) 932-0777 for a free consultation.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.