Amusement parks are supposed to be fun and worry free places where families gather to enjoy the day, ride some rides and play games. Sadly, sometimes what is supposed to be a day of fun turns into a tragedy. This week, a malfunction at Australia's largest theme park resulted in the deaths of four people. The malfunction occurred on the Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld theme park in Queensland.
The "flume" the passengers were riding on flipped after it came in contact with another carriage towards the end of the ride, tossing some of the passengers onto the conveyor belt, where they were caught in the machinery. The victims included two men, ages 35 and 32, and two women, ages 42 and 38. The park has closed its doors while an investigation takes place. Back home in the states, several parks have closed down rides similar to that of the Thunder River Rapids as a precaution.
While amusement park accidents may seem like freak, chance events, they are actually more common than you may think. Accidents at amusement parks occur at an average of roughly 9,000 per year, according to estimates by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). While many of the injures are minor and result in little more than scrapes and bruises, many others are very serious. Each year, an average of 4.5 deaths occur.
When an injury or death occurs at an amusement park, there are several types of legal claims that can be brought against the park. The two most common types of claims include negligence and product liability. A claim for negligence can arise when the park accident was caused by the carelessness or inattention of the park or a park employee. In contrast, a claim for product liability is appropriate when the accident is caused by defective rides or components and not by improper maintenance, inspection, operation or use.
If you or a loved one has been injured at an amusement park, contact our lawyers for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-LAW-2400 or complete the contact form on this website.