When vacationers think of California, they often picture sunny beaches and amusement parks. There are so many across the state for children and parents alike to enjoy. But amusement parks can be dangerous with a number of rides that are intended to thrill the rider. However there are a number of more tame rides, such as the Ferris wheel.
But if there is an amusement park accident, is the park owner or operator liable for any injuries or death? Does it depend on the circumstances of the accident? And can the victim or family of the victim seek compensation for their injuries or loss? Unfortunately, one little girl's family is faced with those very questions.
Last Friday, a fatal accident occurred at an amusement park when a young girl fell from a Ferris wheel to her death. She had been at the park with a group of her classmates and teachers for a school outing. So far investigators know that she had been sitting on the ride by herself but are still not sure what caused her to fall.
At this point, experts are saying that the ride itself was operating as it should have. The ride had passed its inspection earlier this year and there didn't seem to be any malfunction. Riders on the Ferris wheel are typically not restrained like a rider on a roller coaster would be, but there are written and verbal warnings given to riders to remain seated and in the cab.
Despite the knowledge that the ride was functioning properly, the little girl's family and those who witnessed the tragedy are still wondering whether the fall could have been prevented. The investigation is ongoing, so any negligence on the part of the ride operator, manufacturer, or park owner will likely be discovered.
If negligence was the cause of the fatal accident, the girl's family could seek compensation. Any monetary settlement they could be awarded will never bring back their little girl, but it can help deal with some unexpected financial needs as well as help them begin to move forward with their lives.
Source: Press of Atlantic City online, "Ride experts call 11-year-old Pleasantville girl's fatal fall from Wildwood's Morey's Pier Ferris wheel a freak occurrence," Richard Degener and Dan Good, 05 June 2011
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