Zip line accident in theme park injures 10-year-old boy

Arizona residents may think twice about zooming around on a zip line after they hear about an incident that occurred at a theme park in Lakeland, Florida, at the start of September. A 10-year-old boy was riding a zip line along a track when suddenly, near the end of the track, the boy flew into the air and fell 20 feet to the concrete beneath. An investigation by the Florida Department of Agriculture blames the incident on operator error.

It turns out that the boy was not properly secured in his harness and that the leg straps were not buckled. While one video shows the boy's fall, it does not make clear the fact that the boy was holding on with his arms and that he fell when he finally lost his grip. The equipment was not deficient, nor does the theme park have a history of defective equipment. Thus, it appears that operators failed to check or secure the harness.

The boy suffered "significant injuries" according to the lawsuit that the boy's family has filed in the Polk County courts against the theme park. The boy is recovering and has even resumed school. As for the theme park, representatives say that staff members have been retrained on all attractions. Those involved in the incident were let go.

This is one example of a case that involves the concept of premises liability. Property owners, whether they own a theme park, office building or supermarket, have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for lawful entrants. Training employees is part of that duty, so if operators did not check the harnesses because of inadequate training, then the case may be a valid one. Those who have a similar case may want to consult with a lawyer.

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  • United States District Court | District Of Arizona
  • Maricopa Country Bar Association
  • State Bar Of Arizona
  • United States Court Of Appeals | Ninth Circuit

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