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Knott’s Berry Farm Faces Lawsuit Over Child’s Severe Injuries

A Utah family has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Knott’s Berry Farm claiming that their 10-year-old son was severely injured on a roller coaster when his leg got caught between the cart and the platform. In a negligence lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court, the Burrei family said their Knott’s Berry Farm vacation in June 2014 turned into a nightmare when Carson Burrei’s foot got stuck on the Coaster Rider.

Major Injuries in Coaster Ride

The boy who was 8 at the time mistakenly thought the ride was over and stepped out of the cart as it slowly moved along the platform. His left leg got caught between the cart and the platform. The force of the motion ripped the skin off the top of his foot and crushed bones and tendons. The boy was not only in a wheelchair for three months, but also suffered severe nerve damage and growth-plate injuries. He still suffers from limited sensation and pain in the damaged foot.

Knott’s officials have not commented since it’s pending litigation. The Coast Rider opened in May 2013 and has a height requirement of 44 inches. The plaintiffs’ attorney said the amusement park has made major repairs to the ride including adding pressure pads along with the platform.

Roller Coaster Injuries on the Rise

Over the last year, it appears that rollercoaster injuries are increasing. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio reports that more than 92,000 children were injured on roller coasters and in amusement park-related incidents between 1990 and 2010, an average of almost 4,000 injuries per year. In addition, a theme park survey from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions shows that 1,024 people were injured on rides at nearly 400 U.S. amusement parks in the year 2011.

Liability Issues

Amusement parks have a responsibility and a legal obligation to ensure that their rides are safe for park visitors. They are legally required to inspect rides regularly, make repairs, fix worn-out or defective parts and add as many safety features as possible to prevent injuries.

When an amusement park ride causes injuries, the park’s owner can be held financially responsible for the injuries and damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and economic distress. An experienced California amusement park attorney who has successfully handled similar cases will be able to advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.

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California Personal Injury Blog