Posted Monday, October 4, 2010 12:20 PM | Contributed by Jeff
The lawyer for a 13-year-old Florida girl who was seriously injured when she fell about 100 feet to the ground from an amusement park ride said Friday that they have reached a settlement with the park. Stuart Grossman, an attorney for Teagan Marti, said Friday that a pre-lawsuit settlement has been reached with Extreme World in Wisconsin Dells but couldn’t release any details, including when it occurred. A judge still must approve it.
Considering this incident was caused by ride operator error, I don't believe a lawsuit against the manufacturer would be warranted.
I saw this park on the travel channel last summer and wanted to visit. This is an unfortunate situation both for the girl who was injured and for the park, which now is going to be auctioned off.
Why couldn't they sue the manufacturer? They could assert that it was easily foreseeable that the accident could occur since there were no safety lockouts/safeguards to prevent this from happening.
Wow. That was surprisingly quick! And quite frankly I am glad to see it settle this quickly, for the sake of the Marti family.
It's also worth noting that the foreclosure proceedings against the park are, to the best of my knowledge, unrelated to the incident.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
To me it is unfathomable that there is no interlocking safety mechanism to ensure both the net and the platform were raised to the proper level.
It's not that hard! Give me an engineer and an electrician at my plant and $5000 for a PLC, some prox switches, a couple electric pin locks, and a light curtain and they could have a system designed and implemented in a less then a week that would be entirely foolproof.
I don't see why or how a court of law would not rule against them in a lawsuit.Last edited by MagnumsRevenge, Tuesday, October 5, 2010 12:22 AM
WAAAAY too complicated.
$50 worth of limit switches would do the trick. Another $30 for a go indicator if you like. No PLC required. Probably the easiest thing to do would be to attach a ball to the hoisting rope that would trip a limit switch when it reaches the top.
But that doesn't matter. Remember the ride not only passed the design review required by the State of Wisconsin, apparently TÜV Bayern also signed off on it. So apparently the lack of an interlock was not a serious concern to at least two external regulatory agencies. Probably more, as the ride was apparently insured.
Think about that next time you ride anything!
--Dave Althoff, Jr.Last edited by RideMan, Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:57 AM
I think it would have been smart (moral ?) to have the back-up systems in place. I have a difficult time leaping to the conclusion that the manufacturer is criminally liable though. So many things in life rely on operator competance (cars, cranes, sling shots, butter knives, etc). I suspect that this ride passed all inspections based upon the assumption that the operator was competant. He was not.
If you start holding manufacturers liable for idiots who use their products incorrectly then you effectivley provide a huge disincentive for manufacturing. Now if they want to throw the book at the operator for his gross negligence, that is understandable to me.
^Who has suggested that the manufacturer of the ride would face criminal charges? The article only seems to imply that the family might seek civil remedies against the manufacturer as well.
Yeah, and you are getting back into the whole area of "reasonably foreseeable misuse" which has been a recurring theme in amusement ride accidents.
I think we're easily blinded by hindsight. The ride sustained quite a lot of scrutiny, and if the principles of ASTM F 2291 were followed there should even have been a failure analysis conducted that should have determined the risk of not having a backup system in place, and should have determined a means for mitigating the resulting risk. Is it a problem that a procedural interlock is acceptable as a means of risk mitigation? I can tell you that I have heard some pretty impassioned arguments on both sides of that one.
And as I noted some time ago, I am not even convinced that "throwing the book" at the operator is entirely reasonable. That's a pretty huge disincentive to becoming a ride operator. At some point there needs to be a recognition that this was what it was: a tragic accident. It was not an intentional act by anyone. I have seen nothing to indicate that anybody involved with this situation had anything but the most honorable intentions. Terrible things have happened. The next step shouldn't be about retribution. It should be about healing, and more important, it should be about taking steps to keep this kind of a tragedy from ever happening again.
And yes, that probably means changes to either the procedure or to the ride system on the SCAD.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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