Can the Australian Amusement Park Tragedy Happen in the United States of America?

The tragic accident in Australia at Dreamworld amusement park resulted in the tragic deaths of 4 people. A recent article by USA Today investigated the issue of whether such an accident could occur in the United States of America. The sobering answer was that such an accident was entirely possible given the lack of oversight over amusement parks in the USA. Amusement parks in America are not subject to stringent federal oversight as the amusement park lobby is very powerful and has tremendous influence in Washington, D.C. Instead, oversight is left up to the states and the amusement parks themselves. Although tragedies at amusement parks are infrequent, they do occur and raise significant questions as to what can be done to investigate these accidents and make parks safer in the United States.

The Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld in Australia is a very common and popular ride-type that can be found in amusement parks throughout the country. Amusement park experts believe this type of accident will happen in the United States – it is just a matter of when. Often, it is not a mechanical issue that results in a tragic accident, but rather human error. Are there any real safety or training standards for the operators of these and other rides? Or is it more likely that the ride operators are young, seasonal employees who receive the bare minimum of training and are being paid the bare minimum of wages? These questions need to be asked and answered or we will continue to read about amusement park tragedies in the coming years.

If someone you love has been injured or killed in an amusement park accident, the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will give you a free consultation to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit. To see if compensation is available to you, call 212-406-1700 or fill out our case review form.