In 2013, four people were injured by a ride called the Vortex, which was owned by Family Attractions Amusement LLC. According to reports, the ride started again as its passengers were attempting to get off of it. Riders were flung and knocked to the ground. Three riders sustained non-life-threatening injuries while two others suffered spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. As it turns out, the ride owner tampered with the ride and compromised safety devices that prevent the ride from starting unexpectedly.
Last month, we wrote about three Tennessee girls who fell 45 feet in a Ferris wheel ride accident. One of those girls sustained a traumatic brain injury, another broke her arm. It was determined that a mechanical malfunction took place, but the accident is still under investigation. As it turns out, the Ferris wheel was also owned by the Family Attractions Amusement company.
What is Tennessee Doing to Better Protect People from Dangerous Amusement Park Rides?
Under Tennessee law, amusement ride operators are required to hire a third-party inspector in order to determine if the ride is safe. The Amusement Device Unit, which is in charge of enforcing this state law, does not actually inspect rides itself. Rather, these third-party inspectors must submit their findings to the unit. On the Amusement Device Unit’s website, however, it shows there are 20 operators in Tennessee that are non-compliant.
Between 1990 and 2010, 92,885 children under 18-years-old were treated for injuries sustained in amusement park ride accidents, according to a study conducted by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This is an average of more than 4,000 injuries per year, most of which occur during summer months. That being said, Tennessee lawmakers need review the state’s amusement ride regulatory structure and make safety a priority.
Stanley A. Davis is a Nashville personal injury attorney who helps those injured in amusement park ride accidents. The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis has been helping injury victims for more than 10 years.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6