Recent Fatal Accident Focuses National Attention on Fair Accidents – Are Massachusetts Amusement Parks and Fairs Safe?

It’s that time of year again. Many families, trying to squeeze in one more trip before the kids head back to school, make the trek to amusement parks both near and far. Others take advantage of those special once-a-year local fairs and festivals, dazzled by the lights, enticed by the cornucopia of carnival-style foods, and thrilled by the many rides, slides, and merry-go-rounds on the midway.

Festivals, fairs, and amusement parks can be great fun. But are they safe?

Fatal Accident at State Fair in Ohio

Recently, a fair-goer was killed when a carnival ride apparently malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair. According to reports, part of the ride broke off while it was in motion. Several people on the ride fell from the air as the ride came apart and crashed to the ground. Fair officials said the ride had been inspected multiple times in the days prior to the accident.

The Governor of Ohio was quoted as saying, “[A]ccidents happen. … [I]f you’re looking for guarantees in life, they don’t exist.” While this is a true statement, it doesn’t tell the full story. While “freak accidents” do occasionally happen without anyone being to blame, a mechanical failure on a carnival ride does not necessarily fall into this category. An investigation into the cause of the ride’s failure continues, and, given the fatality and the multiple, serious injuries that resulted, litigation is at least a possibility.

Other Carnival Accidents Suggest Ohio Accident Was Not an Isolated Incident

Lest we write off what happened at the Ohio State Fair as a one-time, unfortunate happening, it bears mentioning that a national news outlet published an article on the country’s most dangerous amusement parks just last summer. According to the article, accidents at theme parks are on the rise, and the parks themselves are sometimes to blame.

The article stated that one park in New Jersey has had at least six fatalities (in separate accidents) and may have as many as 100 injuries in a given year. A New York park was noted as having experienced at least three fatal accidents since 2004 – a girl was allegedly thrown from a ride, a person was killed on a water ride, and a park employee died while riding a ride without using a seat belt.

The Six Flags chain, which has theme parks in multiple states, was also reported to have experienced multiple serious injuries and fatalities over the years.

Contact an Experienced Injury Attorney on Cape Cod

Holding a negligent party liable for injuries or a wrongful death caused by negligence is no easy task. It takes time, skill, patience, and perseverance to prevail in a lawsuit seeking fair compensation for damages caused by another party’s breach of the duty of due care. At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, our Hyannis and Plymouth amusement park accident lawyers handle a variety of injury cases, including premises liability actions, product liability cases, and serious or catastrophic injury lawsuits. Call us at 888-262-6664 for a free consultation about your case.

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