Back Injury Lawsuits Shut Down Thrill Ride

A county health department suspended the license of a water coaster amid a series of lawsuits alleging the amusement park ride caused them to suffer back injuries and spinal injuries.
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A local news outlet in Rockford, Ill. has identified at least seven lawsuits against the park district pertaining to the “Splash Blaster” water roller coaster since July 2014. Six of those seven claims were filed in 2015. Two individuals even suffered severe back injuries on the very same day.

The ride reportedly works like this: There’s a two-person, inflatable raft transported by a conveyor belt that operates some 35 feet above the ground. The raft then takes a sudden, dramatic drop through an unlit tunnel and is then shot through the rest of the ride with high-powered water jets. Passengers have no control, and riders aren’t able to choose their raft; instead, they are simply given the next available raft in the system. Many of the pending lawsuits center around the fact the rafts were not properly inflated and therefore didn’t give riders the proper bodily support as they proceeded through the ride.

Our Fort Lauderdale tourist injury attorneys know that while many water parks and theme parks do make safety a priority, cutting corners is not unheard of. Ensuring patron safety takes an investment of time and money, and some simply fail to take the necessary precautions.

In some cases, there may be an issue with defective design or manufacture of certain rides.

For example in this case, there is an assertion that the steep drop from that high point of elevation results in these compression fractures to the vertebrae. A single attorney is representing three clients, and says they were all injured at the exact same place on the ride and suffered the same type of injuries. The issue could well be the ride wasn’t properly designed to ensure safety, and was inherently dangerous or defective.

It may also be possible to argue the park negligently maintained the ride – specifically, the rafts.

Another theory of negligence that could be asserted is failure to warn. As these lawsuits have continued, no riders were apparently warned of the potential danger, and some might argue the park knew or should have known the ride was dangerous and owed a duty to inform plaintiffs of the risk.

Each of the seven plaintiffs in this case is seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000. One pointed out she has racked up medical bills in excess of $150,000. Through their respective attorneys, those injured have stated they don’t want to see anyone else hurt.

Complicating matters in these cases is the fact the water park in question is owned by the local government. Cases against government entities carry their own unique complications.

Most of the popular parks in Florida are privately-owned, but they have deep pockets and often put up a good fight. That’s why those who are injured need to make sure they are prepared, by securing the services of an experienced and historically successful legal team.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:
Rockford Park District sued over claims of back injuries from Magic Waters thrill ride, Aug. 27, 2015, By Kevin Haas, Rockford Register Star
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