By David M. Baum, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
In Chicago, Illinois, the life of a 3 year old boy ended at an amusement park in Chicago, Illinois. The boy was riding a roller coaster called the Python Pit when some how he slipped under the safety bar and fell off the ride near Norridge, Illinois. The Go Bananas Amusement Park was the site of the incident which was investigated by the police department. Interestingly enough, the boy’s twin brother did not fall off of the ride. See Boy Dies After Fall from Chicago Roller Coaster.
What are the safety and inspection requirements for amusement parks in Illinois? What agency regulations amusement parks in Illinois? What were the particular safety requirements or safety regulations for this particular ride? These are all excellent and pertinent questions to the tragedy at hand. Amusement Parks are regulated by the State of Illinois – Department of Labor pursuant to Carnival and Amusement Parks Safety Act. Pursuant to this law, amusement and carnival rides like the Python Pit Roller Coaster must submit an application for the ride for inspection and be inspected at least once a year. Documentation is required for the ride and all employees or operators of the ride as to background and training to operate the ride. See more information regarding Illinois Laws and Regulations of Amusement Park Rides at the Official Website for the State of Illinois Department of Labor.
Compliance with the State laws and regulations is vital to the safety of children who ride the roller coaster but compliance with the State laws and regulations will not serve as an absolute shield against liability for accidents and injuries. An investigation can be conducted by local, state and federal agencies as to the actual safety or hazards of the ride beyond the State regulations. In addition, the family can hire a private investigation, engineer, and, yes, an attorney to help coordinate these efforts. The manufacturer and distributor of the Roller Coaster ride may be held liable if it is determined that there was a design defect in the way in which the safety bar and / or seat belts (if any) functioned. Furthermore, it may be determined the the minimal safe height for a rider was miscalculated or not followed.
Children should be able to ride an amusement park ride in this day and age and be safe. The most important aspect of each and every ride should be the safety of a child. Dealing with the loss or injury of a child as a result of the negligence of an amusement park or theme park owner and operator can be very difficult for parents. Parents will need the support of family, friends, the neighborhood, and the community when tragedy strikes. There are many questions to answer and many of which cannot be answered at all. For those questions that can be answered, the book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Needs to Know – has chapters on Amusement and Theme Park Injuries, Damages / Compensation, and other topics. While the book is not a substitute for legal representation and does not purport to answer every question on every topic, it is a good start for parents dealing with the challenges of a child injury. You can receive a free copy of this child injury book by clicking here.