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Who is Liable in an Amusement Park Ride Accident?

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One thing my family always does in the summer is go on the rides at the Boardwalk in New Jersey.  This year, we went to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood, New Jersey for the day.  As I put my young kids on the rides, I could not help but have anxiety from the time the ride started until the ride ended. 

As my kids were on the rides, I prayed that the ride was well maintained and that there was no defect that could potentially hurt my children.  I guess this is an occupational hazard from being a personal injury lawyer representing victims who get hurt in accidents. 

When my kids went on the pirate ship, I became especially anxious because I thought about an accident on a similar ride at Morey’s Piers in 2011.  A 13 year old was hurt when the center mast snapped while the ride was swinging back and forth.  As it turned out, the mast fell due to corrosion.

Another amusement park accident I read about right before we went to Morey’s Piers contributed to my anxiety as well.  In July 2013, a woman died when she fell from the 3rd row of a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas.

For such accidents, multiple parties may be responsible for the injuries and damages sustained by the injured victim:

  • the pier or amusement park,
  • the manufacturer of the ride, and/or
  • the maintenance company for the ride.

Piers or amusement parks can be held responsible if they knew that the ride was dangerous.  For the accident at Morey’s Piers, the pier could be held liable for the girl’s injuries if it had warnings from the maker of the ride that the mast should be removed but did not do so.  The pier would also be responsible if it did not maintain and inspect the ride pursuant to regulations.

For the Six Flags accident, the manufacturer of the ride could be held responsible for the woman’s injuries if there was a defect in the ride that caused the woman to fall out.  In that case, a products liability claim may be made against the ride/part manufacturer.

Suggested Reading: PA Amusement Park Riders’ Rights To Recover For Injuries Suffered On Rides

Help After A PA/NJ Amusement Park Ride Accident

If you or a loved one was injured while riding a ride at an amusement park or a pier, you may be able to recover monetary damages.  Because there could be a products liability claim in addition to a negligence claim against responsible parties, an experienced PA personal injury lawyer should be consulted due to the complexities of a products liability claim.  Many documents pertaining to the ride must be evaluated such as: design plans, construction plans, maintenance manuals, previous accident reports, operation and instruction records, inspection records, etc.

Feel free to contact Daniel J. O’Brien, a PA and NJ products liability lawyer, for a free no obligation consultation.  877.944.8396.

Category: Premises Liability


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