Guests at an amusement park place their complete faith in the operators of the amusement park that their safety and well-being will be given the highest priority as it involves the maintenance and operation of their rides. At Dreamworld theme park in Queensland, Australia, four people were killed when a ride malfunctioned, according to a report by CNN. Two men, ages 35 and 32, and two women, ages 42 and 38, were pronounced dead by police following the incident on the Thunder River Rapids Ride at the Dreamworld theme park in Queensland. Apparently, the ride malfunctioned resulting in two of the victims being ejected and the other two being trapped on the ride. Most concerning are the reports that this particular ride had experienced numerous malfunctions in the past, yet remained open allowing this unthinkable tragedy to occur.
Many amusement parks in the United States of America have this exact, or very similar, type of ride. Owners and operators of amusement parks have a duty to act in a safe and responsible manner to protect their guests from any dangers that are reasonably foreseeable and can be guarded against. The negligent maintenance and operation of a ride, which certainly appears to be the case in the Dreamland accident, will subject the owner and operator of such a ride to liability for those persons injured or killed as a result.
Business owners, landlords, private property owners, and even state and municipal owners of everything from government buildings to parklands and public pools have a duty to provide a safe and secure environment for guests. When they don’t, innocent visitors can be seriously injured or killed. Those injured and the families of those killed have a right to be compensated for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, disability, and other issues arising from the accident.
To have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s family must be able to prove that the responsible party acted negligently. For the responsible party to have acted negligently, they must have had a duty of care-a legal responsibility to act with a degree of caution when performing potentially dangerous actions-to the victim. The responsible party acted negligently if they violated their duty of care. Additionally, the victim’s family must be able to prove that the responsible party’s negligence was the direct cause of death. Furthermore, the victim’s death must have inflicted either economic or non-economic damages on their family. With regard to this tragedy at the Dreamland amusement park, the initial reports seem to indicate that the operators of the amusement park may have operated the Thunder River Rapids Ride in a negligent manner as there were apparently ongoing safety problems associated with that ride. Sadly, their negligence appears to have cost 4 victims their lives.
Due to the statute of limitations, it is important for families of deceased individuals to seek the counsel of an attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, the statute of limitations for New York wrongful death lawsuits is two years. The statute of limitations is a law that specifies the amount of time an individual has to file a claim following an incident. Failure to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires can result in victim’s families being forever barred from the compensation they may be eligible to receive. As a result, it is imperative that victim’s families hire an attorney who will handle their claims in a timely manner. At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool our wrongful death lawyers have decades of combined experience handling wrongful death claims. We understand all of the time constraints posed by the statute of limitations. Our attorneys file all of our clients’ claims in a timely manner so that they may be eligible to receive compensation for the damages caused by their loved one’s death.
If someone you love has unexpectedly died, 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.
Photo By 91RS (http://www.flickr.com/photos/digital1/2148021267/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons