New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Amusement Park Safety Risks

Posted on Aug 24, 2017 in Personal Injury

A video of a heroic rescue at Six Flags Amusement Park went viral recently. The video depicted an amusement park patron in Upstate New York who may have saved the life of a 14-year-old girl.  The girl was on a ride called the Sky Ride and she had fallen out of the car that she was riding in and was dangling from the ride. She was holding onto the cart and was 25-feet in the air. A patron at the amusement park saw her dangling from the ride and persuaded her to let go of it. She was then caught by the good samaritan and by a group of others on the ground who had gathered in order to try to help her.

The girl was transported to the hospital and she was treated for minor back injuries before being released. However, not all patrons of amusement parks who sustain injuries on rides are so lucky. A New York City injury lawyer provides representation to those who are more seriously hurt, as well as to families of victims who are killed on amusement park rides. Unfortunately, injuries and fatalities do happen every year and, as USA Today points out, the recent incident with the 14-year-old is renewing lingering questions about exactly how safe rides are for amusement park patrons.

Are Amusement Park Rides Safe for Patrons?

According to USA Today, there have been several other ride malfunctions over the course of the past year in which patrons were killed.  One tragic incident at an Australian theme park, Dreamworld, caused four deaths when two people were ejected from a raft at a water ride and another two people became trapped in the water or machinery.  Another incident occurred in Kansas, when a 10-year-old boy was killed on a giant slide and two women sustained injuries.

An amusement park safety consultant told USA Today that “it’s not a matter of whether it’s going to happen, it’s when,” in reference to amusement park tragedies. Conditions exist that make accidents inevitable, especially in the United States where there is virtually no federal oversight of ride safety. This leaves states in a position to pass their own regulations, and in some states, the rules are very lax.  While the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission used to be responsible for overseeing ride safety, the responsibility was removed from the Commission in the 1980s and it is unlikely that federal authorities will again be given the power to regulate rides. This can leave patrons vulnerable if states do not have good safety rules in place.

If you or someone you love is hurt at an amusement park, you should consult with a New York City injury lawyer. An attorney can help you to determine if the amusement park could be held accountable for your injuries and can provide you with advice on pursuing legal action against the amusement park in order to obtain compensation for loss. Call as soon as possible following an injury so your attorney can begin an investigation into the cause of the harm and can take action to help you prove your claim.

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