Water park faces lawsuit after 410 lb. woman dies on slide

Posted Friday, August 6, 2004 10:44 AM | Contributed by Sarah Jackson

Attorneys for Donna Herring say “Splash Zone” and “Splashtacular,” the manufacturer of the outdoor waterslide, were negligent because they failed to post the proper warnings for the slide. The Lorain County coroner ruled the cause of death to be Sudden Cardiac Death due to blunt impact. He also found Herring had an enlarged heart.

Read more from WKYC/Cleveland.

Friday, August 6, 2004 11:42 AM
But you know something? Not to sound callous here, but if the park HAD enforced the weight limit, I'm sure there would be many people up in arms because they would not be allowed to use the slides.

I'm beginning to feel very sorry for parks who have to deal with "guests of larger sizes". It's become a lose-lose situation for them.

I don't know who the manufacturer's are of the slides under Cedar Fair rule, but if they don't have signs posted currently, I'd be willing to bet they will be now.

Friday, August 6, 2004 11:57 AM
I am sure there is signage but I don't have a strong recollection of it. The CP website doesn't address weight at all. It does address height requirements for slides but that is about it.

It says something about guests knowing their limitations but you do pose an interesting question CPLady...for all waterparks.

Friday, August 6, 2004 12:45 PM
She had an enlarged heart...don't the signs mention that folks with heart conditions should not ride? As far as her knowing, I think it's a no brainer at 410 pounds.

All that aside, I feel bad for the family.

Friday, August 6, 2004 1:41 PM
When are people gonna become responsible for their own actions. Its like its pretty obvious that its a high thrill experience. But then it could just be me..........
Friday, August 6, 2004 2:15 PM
The article says that she hit face first. I'm not familiar with this slide, but most slides are posted that you shouldn't slide face first.
Friday, August 6, 2004 2:24 PM
Splashzone is a community pool/waterpark in Oberlin, OH. This article isn't referring to Splash Zone at Soak City at Cedar Point. Cedar Point is in Erie county.
Friday, August 6, 2004 3:52 PM
What the heck was she thinkin??? I guess she didnt relize that she was 400 pounds. I wounldnt be at water park in the first place if i was that big. How come nobody warned her in the first place cause she obviously didnt see any warning Signs.
Friday, August 6, 2004 7:20 PM
Right... I can see how someone wouldn't realize they were 400 pounds. I mean, if you weighed that much you wouldn't realize it either, right?
Friday, August 6, 2004 10:55 PM
Michael Darling, I think most of us are aware Splashzone where the accident occured is not part of CP's Soak City.

I'm just pondering the issue of signs and limitations for larger people at Cedar Fair parks due this accident, or any other water park for that matter.

Again, it was clearly stated in the article that there was a weight limit on that particular slide, whether posted or not, and the woman was apparently not aware of it, or ignored it. The cardiac arrest was "due to blunt impact" apparently from her entering the water face first. Whether this was a head first slide or not wasn't clear from the article. It appears the heart attack came after she exited the slide, and an enlarged heart is not something she would know about. That would lead me to conclude her weight could have affected her slide down and caused her to roll face first at the bottom.

If this is determined to be the case, other parks may end up enforcing a weight restriction. An enforced 300 pound limit could mean people will be turned away.

Saturday, August 7, 2004 12:36 PM
Yup, now instead of just a pole to check height, there will also be a scale at the entrance to each attraction. That will make a lot of people happy:)
Saturday, August 7, 2004 1:18 PM

I may have misread Wahoo Skipper's post where he mentioned CP's website. That's why I pointed it out that Splashzone pool in Oberlin is in no way affiliated with Splash Zone at Soak City. There were actually a few newspaper articles about that locally. Apparently some folks really were confused.

I just wanted to stop confusion before it started.

Saturday, August 7, 2004 4:41 PM
You people have problems. I know that you almost always defend parks first and foremost, but show a little damn compassion.
Saturday, August 7, 2004 11:31 PM
That's right, Show some compassion for those poor lifeguards.
Sunday, August 8, 2004 4:50 PM
410 pounds damn she must have been big. anyone know how much weight a the slide can handle anyway? it's only 24 feet so i wouldn't have thought much. anyway i do feel sorry, sometimes people just like to do exciting things, and of course it backfires...
Monday, August 9, 2004 12:44 PM

"What the heck was she thinkin??? I guess she didnt relize that she was 400 pounds. I wounldnt be at water park in the first place if i was that big."

Not everyone has the same sense of self-consciousness as you might or I might. Duh. ;)


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