A Recent Death at an Amusement Park is Raising Questions

Caleb Schwab, a boy of just ten years old, was recently killed on the tallest water slide in the world. He was decapitated while riding, which led to outcry that there need to be changes in the way amusement park safety standards are decided on and enforced. Safety advocates worry that the industry doesn’t have enough federal oversight and that data tracking is significantly lacking.

How could something like this happen?

Caleb was killed on August 7th when he was going down the Verructk water slide, a 168-foot-tall attraction at a water park in Kansas City called Schlitterbahn. The details on the case are still unclear but everyone agrees that it is a horrific tragedy. Safety advocates say it’s just one example of serious flaws in the way the industry policies amusement parks and that everyone is at risk – but especially children.

How many people are injured at water parks?

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (otherwise known as IAAPA) says that more than 330 million people visit water parks in the U.S. They also say there are 400 amusement parks throughout the country with a total of 1.6 billion rides. 85 million people pay a visit to a water park each year, and fatal injuries are incredibly rare: just one in every 16 million visitors.

But how many injuries are there? The truth is that we don’t know – and that’s part of the problem. What we do know is that more than 4,000 people visited the emergency room last year for injuries they sustained on water slides, including scrapes, spinal injuries, broken bones, and other injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for overseeing traveling carnivals, but it doesn’t cover water parks that are permanently located. In fact, it’s a significant issue that there’s no specific federal agency that enforces the regulations at these water parks. Consider the slide on which Caleb died – it hadn’t been inspected since it opened more than two years ago.

There are significant liability issues involved

Put simply, an amusement park has a duty to ensure the safety of every visitor and guest. In fact, they have a legal responsibility to do so. This includes ensuring that their rides and every piece of equipment is installed property and is properly maintained. They are also required to thoroughly inspect their rides every day to make sure they’re safe.

Have you or someone you’re close to been injured in an amusement park accident? If so, then you need a California personal injury attorney. When you contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas by calling 909-982-0707, you’ll get a free initial consultation. We’ll take a look at your situation and advise you on your options. No matter if the injuries were relatively minor or they led to a death, you deserve to have your side heard and compensation may be yours.