A Virginia woman remained hospitalized two days after falling 40 feet to the ground when her seat broke free from the SuperShot ride at the Frederick County Fair on the evening of July 25, 2016. SuperShot is a free-fall ride that slowly raises riders before releasing them to plunge dozens of feet before chains arrest their progress toward the ground. At least one of the chains on the seriously injured woman’s seat snapped. The nature of her injuries have not been reported, nor is there news on whether she will recover fully or suffer some permanent disability.
According to FOX5-DC, the Frederick County Fair being held outside the town of Winchester is run by a private company that has contracted with a carnival operator. That business further subcontracted with other businesses that own, service and provide personnel to operate rides. The television station also reported that all fair and theme park rides are subject to state inspection and licensing. FOX5-DC noted it could not get copies of the SuperShot inspection and maintenance records.
The preceding details all matter greatly for the injured fairgoer. The breakdown of the ride that endangered her life gives her strong grounds for filing personal injury claims for medical care costs, lost wages, temporary or long-term disability and pain and suffering. But which organizations, companies and individuals have the responsibility?
Did the organizer perform due diligence in contracting with the fair operator? Did the ride company put fairgoers at risk by skipping inspections and or failing to maintain the rides? Were components of the SuperShot defective because of errors made by manufacturers?
The list of questions regarding what Virginia personal injury lawyers call premises liability, product liability and slip and fall extends far past those raised in this article. And more than one group or person could share responsibility for causing the woman’s injuries. Sorting all these issues out and pursuing settlements or jury verdicts will likely require advice and representation from a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney.