Amusement Park Industry’s Bigger, Taller, Faster Competition Can Lead To Bigger Injuries, Too.

This past week in Geneva, New York, where I live, the temperatures rose to 71 degrees.  And we are only in late February!  As the ski season ends (earlier than usual), I can’t help but think the amusement parks will be opening earlier than usual.

Generally, amusement parks are reasonably safe.  But accidents – tragic ones – do happen.  For one thing, the industry has become very competitive in trying to get the “highest”, “fastest”, or craziest rides.  That kind of competition can lead to dangerous results.

Case in point:  Last year a 10-year old boy was killed on the “tallest” water slide in the world located in Kansas City (see photos above).  The slide had opened to much fanfare in 2014 as it surpassed the then-tallest water slide in the world located in Brazil.  The slide – christened the “Veruckt” (German for “insane”) — consisted of a 168-foot, 17-story drop followed by a bump and then a final descent into the pool below.  Go on the ride by video here:

The boy was found dead in the raft at the bottom of the ride with a fatal neck fracture. His neck had apparently snapped as he hit the “bump” traveling 60 miles per hour.  Two-unrelated passengers – both heavy women weighing an average of 230 pounds each – had been seated behind him in the three-person raft.  It appears that the high speed, followed by the lift of the bump, made the lighter-weight front of the raft whip up and down while the back of it was weighted down by the two women.

It was clearly a poor design, an “accident waiting to happen”.  Before this tragic accident, others had complained about being thrown into the air on the “bump”, and there were complaints about the safety harnesses coming undone.

Just last months, personal injury lawyers representing the boy’s family settled his wrongful death case against the Amusement Park for a confidential amount.  More lawsuits are contemplated against the designer and manufacturer and others.

It is not a coincidence that Missouri, where this ride was built, has some of the most lax amusement park safety regulations in the nation.  So much for deregulation!

Here’s some advice from this Central New York injury lawyer:  Before taking your family to an amusement park, google the rides on line to see if users have complained about unsafe or unsettling aspects to the rides.  See if claims have been made, or even if other users had concerns about the ride.  If you or your family are unfortunately injured at an amusement park in New York State, call us.  We can help.

Keep safe!

Mike Bersani

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Syracuse NY Amusement Park Accident Lawyers
Michaels Bersani Kalabanka



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