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Dangerous property: Amusement park safety standards questioned

In July, an Ohio teenager was killed, and seven other individuals suffered injuries when a ride at an amusement park broke apart. Safety standards are being questioned after several accidents occurred nationwide in recent months. There are calls for a national reporting system through which amusement park accidents and relevant dangerous property reports can be filed.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it does not govern amusement park safety as a whole. Reportedly it is a self-policing structure with regulations varying from state to state. CPSC does, however, have safety standards for mobile amusement establishments, but those are voluntary guidelines and not rules. Investigators that examined the Ohio accident determined that corroded equipment caused the equipment failure, despite a state inspection passing it earlier.

The Commission estimates that the number of amusement park visitors that were treated in emergency rooms for ride injuries in 2015 exceeded 37,000, and 29 fatalities had occurred on water slides and amusement rides since 2010. A fire marshal in another state urged parents to trust their instincts when something seems amiss. They should make sure that attendants check safety bars and belts properly, and they should know that there are police and fire marshals on site that can shut down a ride if there is a reason to believe it is unsafe.

Regardless of how efficient state regulation of amusement park safety is, owners and operators of such facilities are responsible for the safety of visitors. Just like with any other dangerous property claims, victims of amusement park injuries or surviving family members of those losing their lives can seek recovery of damages. This is a complicated field of the law, and the support and guidance of an experienced Ohio premises liability attorney might improve the chances of receiving a monetary award to cover financial and emotional damages.

Source: abc3340.com, "The Alarming Truth About Amusement Park Rides", Oct. 3, 2017

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