Just this summer, two separate ride accidents at nearby amusement parks led to the serious injury of an 11-year-old girl in Omaha, Nebraska and the death of a worker at Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa. With the more recent death of a 10-year-old boy at a water park in Kansas City and the injury of three girls at an amusement park in Tennessee, there are mounting concerns over ride safety in the United States.
Currently, there are no federal laws which regulate the safety standards of our nation’s theme parks. Instead, standards are set on a state-by-state basis and specific laws vary widely across the country. According to NBC News, only 24 states have comprehensive government inspection programs, while 11 states, including Tennessee, just have minimal safety requirements, 9 states have partial oversight, and 6 states have no regulations at all.
This lack of general oversight of amusement parks went largely unnoticed in the past, but the high-profile death of a 10-year-old boy at a water park in Kansas City and the injury of three girls, one of whom remains in critical condition after suffering a head injury due to mechanical failure of a ride in Tennessee, has called this relative non-interference into question.
The National Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 7,000 people went to the emergency room last year for ride related injuries. This has led some to call for stricter safety measures across the board when it comes to the safety of our nation’s amusement parks and rides.
An amusement park safety inspector and analyst, who was interviewed following the most recent incidences, states that it is imperative that the United States adopt standardized safety procedures for amusement parks if we want to reduce the number of injuries and deaths each year caused by inconsistent and lax safety standards adopted by individual states.
If you or a family member is injured at an amusement park or other recreational facility, you may have grounds for a personal injury suit in order to be compensated for your injuries or the loss of a loved one. Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, and premises liability, a legal concept that is introduced in personal injury cases where the injury was caused by some type of unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property, is no exception. Contact the Des Moines personal injury Law Offices of Stoltze & Stolze PLC for help today for your injury accident.
Source: NBC News, “Waterslide Death, Ferris Wheel Accident Prompt Ride Safety Concerns” accessed August 17, 2016.