Darien Lake settles with family of amputee who died from roller coaster fall

Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 8:50 AM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

James T. Hackemer’s two young girls will be the primary beneficiaries of a seven-figure settlement of his wrongful-death suit against the Darien Lake amusement park where he fell from a roller coaster. Hackemer, a double amputee, was ejected from the ride in July, 2011. The Department of Labor blamed the accident on "operator error."

Read more from The Buffalo News.

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Friday, January 11, 2013 9:53 PM

It is a shame that this young man lost his life after having been through so much already. I'm not going to comment on whether it was the park's fault for being negligent or the man's fault for thinking that riding a roller coaster with a lapbar when he had no way of maintaining safe restraint with said lapbar. I WILL say that this is a prime example of why Six Flags and other chains have been attempting stricter disability safety restrictions, and I think it is wise.

On the other side of this coin though: we have seen and will continue to see many people with disabilities refused thrill ride permissions, and then we will see many more discrimination lawsuits.

I am glad this man's girls are taken care of though. I don't think the park is completely liable, but it was good of them to do this.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:39 AM

bunky666 said:

I am glad this man's girls are taken care of though. I don't think the park is completely liable, but it was good of them to do this.

I'm sure they had little choice in the matter.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013 5:02 PM

On the whole, I am sure the park would rather fight a discrimination suit than a wrongful death suit.

The sad part is that it is wrongful-death cases like this one that will make it possible for the parks to successfully defend themselves against discrimination claims. It's stupid that anyone has to die for a point to be proven.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013 10:09 PM

Jason Hammond said:

bunky666 said:

I am glad this man's girls are taken care of though. I don't think the park is completely liable, but it was good of them to do this.

I'm sure they had little choice in the matter.

Not much, I'm sure. I am honestly not exactly sure why I typed that line the way I did (or at all, really).

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