Florida is home to some of the world most famous and popular theme parks, and millions of tourists visit the Sunshine State each year to enjoy vacations featuring thrilling rides and close encounters with wild animals. The vast majority of the people who visit theme parks have a good time, but some of them return home nursing injuries they suffered in preventable accidents. When these accidents occurred because of lax security, inadequate staffing or negligence, theme park operators may be held accountable in civil court.
Premises liability lawsuits
The theme park accidents that attract the most media attention involve patrons who suffer injuries on poorly designed, inadequately maintained or negligently operated rides, but theme park operators are also sued when dangerous animals escape their enclosures or guests become sick after eating contaminated food. A popular theme park is a magnet for criminals as well as thrill seekers, and car thefts, robberies and even assaults are common occurrences. When theme park operators do not do enough to deter criminals, they may face lawsuits.
Theme park visitor files $1 million lawsuit
One of the most famous theme park lawsuits was filed in 1991 by a 39-year-old New Jersey man who sued Universal Studios for $1 million after falling out of a boat on the park’s Jaws ride. The man suffered injuries and claimed that he was nearly killed by a mechanical shark. The accident occurred just weeks after the ride opened, and the man alleged that the park ignored safety considerations and cut short testing in order to meet a deadline. Ongoing technical problems led to the ride’s closure about a month after the accident. Universal Studios then sued the company that designed and built the ride.
Park operators may be ordered to compensate guests who suffer theme park injuries when they knew or should have known about dangerous conditions and did not do enough to ensure safety. If you suffer injuries or become a crime victim at a theme park, a personal injury attorney with experience in this area could pursue legal remedies on your behalf and seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income.