The owners of waterparks and other extreme sports facilities in Florida and other states are responsible for the safety of patrons. This applies even when they have signed forms to release liability. Any negligence by such a person might lead to a wrongful death or personal injury claim. In fact, it might even give rise to criminal charges.
A waterpark owner in another state was arrested in connection with the 2016 death of a 10-year-old who was decapitated while riding a raft that became airborne. Whistleblowers have since come forward to reveal that this was not an isolated incident. The indictment states that the owner of the waterpark controlled the design and structure of the waterpark even though he had no engineering credentials or even a technical background.
The owner of the facility and his ride designer are now facing second-degree murder charges along with reckless child endangerment, aggravated battery and more. Reportedly, other patrons suffered injuries in the event that caused the child’s death. The indictment also says that a consultant’s warning that the ride was not safe was ignored, and the ride was completed to impress some show producers.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, which will aim to punish the accused individuals, the family of the deceased child may seek recovery of their losses. While no amount of money can replace a beloved child, it could ease the unanticipated financial burden. A successfully presented wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court can lead to a monetary judgment to cover end-of-life expenses and other losses. Florida residents in similar situations may seek legal counsel to help in the pursuit of economic and non-economic damages.
Source: FindLaw, “Waterpark Co-Owner Faces Reckless Murder Charge for Boy’s Death“, Ceylan Pumphrey, March 28, 2018