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Are Amusement Park Owners Responsible for All Injuries?

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Los Angeles, CAAs summer turns to fall, the focus of theme park injuries tends to shift away from amusement park injuries and water park injuries towards ski hill accidents. But amusement park lawsuits are still filed against theme park owners, alleging rides or theme park grounds were unreasonably safe.

According to the Los Angeles Times (10/4/12), the California Supreme Court is currently considering a lawsuit in which a woman alleges negligence on the part of a theme park resulted in her breaking a wrist while riding a bumper car ride. She claims the theme park should compensate her for her injuries. The theme park owner, Cedar Fair L.P., argues that people knowingly take a risk on some rides and should assume responsibility for those risks.

Amusement park and theme park owners have asked the courts to use the same doctrine that guides lawsuits regarding sports injuries: that certain activities (for example, football) have inherent risks and injuries that occur under normal conditions during those activities should not result in lawsuits.

But a lawyer for the plaintiff told the courts that the theme park has changed the bumper car rides since the plaintiff's injury, to prevent head-on collisions, which can reportedly cause injury. The theme park argues the plaintiff broke her hand when she used it to brace herself.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed against Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, following an injury that occurred at Fright Fest in 2001. The Huffington Post (9/12/12), reports a young girl was frightened during the event when a character jumped out at her and shot her with a squirt gun. As she ran away, the girl fell and suffered cuts and bruises.

The lawsuit was filed by the girl's father and seeks $30,000.

And at a different park, a teenager was seriously injured after he reportedly pushed his way to the front of the line at a waterslide and dove headfirst onto the slide. According to the Daily Mail, within seconds the teen fell over the edge and landed 60 feet below on a barbed wire fence. He was taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries. The slide the teen was on is one of the highest at the Six Flags water park in Los Angeles.


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