An amusement ride operator should be held responsible for all of the injuries and damages suffered by three young girls who were dropped 30 feet out of a ferris wheel ride in Tennessee last week.  A six-year-old suffered a traumatic brain injury, and another one of the girls suffered a broken arm – all because of worn out rivets on the ride.

The Associated Press is reporting the Tennessee officials don’t quite know what to do about it.  Apparently, Tennessee law allows amusement ride companies to prove their rides are safe by having private inspectors look at them — even inspectors in other states.  In my opinion, this is a terrible state policy, and Tennessee needs to get its act together.  Too many young children ride these kinds of amusement rides to leave it up to some possibly sketchy outside inspection outfit in some other state.

However, to me, focusing on state inspections really misses the point.  After all, who is absolutely in the best position to inspect every inch of a ride and determine if it is safe?  The ride operator – that’s who!

If an amusement ride operator is going to catering to children (or even adults, for that matter) he owes a legal (as well as moral and ethical) duty to make sure its rides are reasonably safe.  There is no question that a ride with worn out rivets is not reasonably safe.

I hope that Family Attractions Amusement (the owner and operator of the Ferris wheel in question here) has plenty of liability insurance, because it seems like these young girls are all going to need it.

If you have suffered an injury on an amusement ride or at one of Florida’s theme parks, call Winter Park personal injuries Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444 to have all of your questions answered.  Consultations are always no obligation and 100% free.

Kim Cullen
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Central Florida Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney
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