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Lawsuits Continue Over Two Amusement Park Deaths

At amusement parks, screaming is commonplace- even encouraged. Eventually those screams turn to laughter and excitement as patrons of all ages gather up the courage to board the tallest, most extreme rides they can handle. Amusement parks, as the name suggests, are meant to be a place of total enjoyment, free of any stress except that very brief moment of pure panic as you sit at the top of the highest roller coaster, staring down at the ground far below.

When an accident occurs at a theme park, happiness quickly turns to tragedy. Eleven-year-old Abiah Jones’ parents watched her leave for a school trip with her classmates one spring morning, unaware that would be the last time they would see their beloved child alive. She climbed into a car on the Giant Wheel at Morey’s Pier in New Jersey as it made its way around to the top. Abiah somehow fell from the top of the ride and did not survive.

Her parents were understandably devastated. They filed a lawsuit against Morey’s Pier, Inc. However, for unknown reasons, the family filed in the State of Pennsylvania. A three-judge appellate court ruled recently that the while the case is valid, it must be tried in the State of New Jersey, where the accident occurred.

The judges noted that the first responders who tended to Abiah after the fall are all located in New Jersey and would need to travel to Philadelphia for the trial, which would hinder their ability to fulfil their duties. According to an article by Gordon Gibb, “The appellate panel also noted that many of the witnesses sought for trial were unwilling to be deposed without the issuance of a subpoena, which would be time-consuming and complicated.” These expenses could be eliminated if the case was tried in New Jersey.

Finally, the judges concluded that, “there are no obstacles to a fair trial in New Jersey, appellants unequivocally proved that a trial of this case in New Jersey will be easier, more expeditious and less expensive.”

In another tragic amusement part accident, 52-year-old Rosa Esparza fell to her death from a roller coaster in July of 2013 while attending Six Flags Over Texas. Mourning the loss of their loved one, Esparza’s family filed suit against Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Entertainment, Six Flags Theme Park Inc., Texas Flags Ltd., and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides. Both the theme park and the ride manufacturer deny responsibility in the incident, and claim the equipment was neither defective nor improperly maintained.

In a later development, Six Flags has filed a cross-action lawsuit against Gerstlauer claiming they followed through with proper maintenance and operation, and that the rollercoaster was defective. As a response, the manufacturer filed another lawsuit against the theme park alleging that, “while the Texas Giant roller coaster was originally designed with seat belts, Gerstlauer was told to omit the seat belts and ship the roller coaster without them.”

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and National Safety Council publish an annual safety report for permanently installed rides in the United States. According to 2011 data, approximately 297 million guests visit the 400 U.S. amusement parks annually and board 1.7 billion rides. Per the report, “61 of the 1,415 ride-related injuries, or less than 5 percent, required some form of overnight treatment at a hospital.” While the chances of being injured or killed in a theme park accident are one in 24 million, those statistics do nothing to ease the pain and suffering of victims of ride-related injuries and their families. Most of these accidents could have been prevented through proper maintenance and safety inspections. If you or someone who know has been injured or killed as a result of an amusement park accident, Altman & Altman can help.

Our dedicated team of Theme Park Accident Attorneys have nearly 50 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases and assisting clients in receiving the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in an amusement park incident, call one of our attorneys today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Our lawyers are available around the clock to answer any questions about your case, and all consultations are free and confidential. We understand that going up against a giant amusement park corporation might seem like a daunting task, but our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to ensure you and your family receive compensation and peace of mind.

Original article at Lawyersandsettlements.com