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Nicoletti Walker Law Group July 14, 2015

This Fourth of July, many families celebrated America’s independence by going to a county fair and taking their kids on many of the rides offered there. However, Florida has a history of accidents occurring on these rides, necessitating some caution.

For example, this year, 66 people had to be evacuated from the “East Coast’s largest Ferris wheel” (the Orlando Eye), an evacuation that took three hours to clear up after the attraction shut down and the riders were stranded approximately 400 feet in the air. As they were being removed from the ride, several riders reported that the wheel continued to start and stop.

Amusement Park Negligence

These particular riders were lucky to get off the ride without being injured or killed. Owners of Ferris wheels have previously been sued when riders have fallen, suffering severe head and back injuries, sometimes leading to death. Other injuries include whiplash, heart issues, broken bones, and neck injuries. Many of these same injuries occur as a result of roller coaster accidents each year.

Previous lawsuits alleged negligence due to failing to:

  • Properly inspect the Ferris wheel;

  • Properly latch relevant safety bar(s);

  • Adequately supervise the operation of the wheel;

  • Properly train wheel operators;

  • Warn patrons of the risks and dangers associated with riding;

  • Inspect and replace any relevant parts;

  • Properly build safety seats;

  • Properly include seat belts;

  • Institute a backup safety system; and

  • Provide a safety net, amongst others.

However, accidents at amusement parks can include more than severe ride malfunctions. Many negligence claims are similar to other premises liability issues that occur at hotels, such as injuries related to food poisoning, slip and falls, etc.

Fair Rides Inspection

It is the mission of the Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection to promote the safety of Florida’s citizens and visitors each year by inspecting rides at state amusement parks. Under state law, the owner of an amusement ride must meet at all times the requirements and rules adopted by the state legislature. These rules include permit requirements, modifications to rides, insurance requirements, testing requirements, and more. The department has statewide responsibility to inspect all amusement rides except for parks that employ more than 1,000 employees and thus have full-time inspectors on staff.

A Florida Attorney Who Cares

Many visitors flock to Florida each year to enjoy the beaches and amusement parks, see historical sites, or just otherwise relax and unwind. Property owners and operators who invite these individuals or Florida residents onto their property to do business – but who do not ensure that property is safe for others – can be held liable for injuries that occur. If you have been injured at an amusement park, you may have a claim for negligence.

Attorney Mike Walker understands the pain and expense that slip and fall injuries or injuries arising from a dangerous condition on a property can cause. He is dedicated to ensuring victims are fully compensated for their injuries. Contact the office today so that Mike Walker can assist you.