Woman Sues West Virginia Amusement Park After Ride Malfunction Causes Injuries

A woman from West Virginia has filed suit this week against Camden Park, Inc., for injuries she and her son sustained while on one of the more popular rides at the park, the Flying Scooter. The accident took place back in July of 2011 while Elizabeth Harless and her young son had just gotten onto the Flying Scooter ride.

Elizabeth Harless claims that shortly after the ride began the ride operator started increasing the speed of the Flying Scooter. As the speed increased, the motor on the ride locked up and it resulted in the metal compartment shearing off the mounting and crashing into the ground. This caused the rest of the ride to come to a complete stop and caused injuries to riders who were injured by the abrupt stop.

Harless claims that when the ride came to the sudden stop, her body slammed into a metal safety guard as well as her son’s body, causing injuries to both. Harless claims the owner of the park, Camden Park Inc., had a duty to protect her and her son from the defective and dangerous condition of the amusement park ride.

Though everyone understands that some amount of danger is associated with amusement park rides, many would likely be surprised to learn just how many people are injured every year on such rides. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 7,000 people seek emergency room treatment for amusement park injuries.

A study conducted by the CPSC found that nearly 21% of those injuries took place on merry-go-rounds or carousels, while just more than 10% came from roller coasters and nearly 4% were from bumper cars. The most common cause of minor injuries is falling, especially among very young children age 5 and younger. More serious and debilitating injuries and deaths are commonly caused by mechanical failures, operator failures, rider misconduct and design defects.

Water parks, carnivals and other amusement parks offer good times for millions of people each year. Despite all the fun, amusement parks are like any other business and must abide by serious safety standards. The law in many states, including here in Virginia, holds amusement park owners to a high standard of care as far as personal injuries or deaths to visitors. If you or a loved one has been the victim an amusement or theme park accident injury or death, please contact our offices for a free consultation today.

Here's a Google Map showing the location of the accident:

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It's a shame that this has to happen for real change to come about. Some of these parks cannot cut corners when lives lie in the balance.
by Clearwater injury lawyer August 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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