Latest Twists Missouri Teen Death in Orlando Amusement Park Accident

In the latest several twists in the investigation of a tragic incident in which a teenager was killed in a fall on March 24th of this year at an amusement park in Orlando, a recently released autopsy reflected that the teenager was 383 pounds at the time he plunged to his death, while the maximum weight limit for the ride was supposed to be 287 pounds. However, even more disturbing, one of the ride’s sensors appears to have been manually adjusted to permit the maximum permissible weight to be exceeded according to the investigation of the teen’s death.

Although there were already questions being raised regarding whether he should even have been let on the ride in the first place given his size and whether the warnings provided by the ride’s operator were sufficient, these latest developments only cloud the picture further. His family has already filed suit against the ride’s operator, owner and ICON Park’s owner, but these latest findings are nothing but trouble for the defendants in that lawsuit. The teenager’s parents have alleged in their lawsuit that, in addition to failing to warn him about the risks of someone his size going on the ride, as well as the lack of a proper safety restraint system, the signage that was provided by the ride’s operator regarding the ride’s danger was improper.

Results of the State Safety Inspection

The teenager’s death was ultimately ruled an accident caused by blunt force after an investigation. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting findings by the state in its investigation into the teenager’s death. Forensic engineering firm Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis, which was retained by the state to examine the ride as a part of its investigation, found in April that a seat sensor had been manually adjusted to allow the ride to operate with a greater opening between the seat and the safety harness. This essentially doubled the opening between the restraints on the exact seat which the teenager had been riding in when he plunged to his death. This reportedly resulted in the teen not being properly secured into the ride when he was strapped in. Add to this the fact that the ride’s own safety manual provides that someone like the deceased teenager, who exceeded the ride’s recommended maximum weight limit by nearly 100 pounds, should not have been allowed on the ride in the first place. Lastly, state records also show that the two staff members operating the ride on the date in question had only five weeks of training, which numerous safety experts have said is insufficient to properly assess the risks associated with a certain individual going on a ride, particularly one the size and height of the deceased teenager.

Amusement and Adventure Park Safety In Florida

Florida’s economy is built on tourism. Given this, it makes sense the state has a large number of amusement parks and other entertainment venues, from Disney World or Universal Studios in Orlando to Busch Gardens in Tampa. Nevertheless, not all amusement or adventure parks, nor all the rides inside those parks, are the same when it comes to their safety record. Many ride operators may either have a checkered safety history or have given little to no training whatsoever to their staff. Other rides may simply not have proper restraint systems in place or, even worse, the operator may have manipulated the ride to make it less safe.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley if You or A Loved One Have Been Injured in a Florida Amusement or Adventure Park Accident

At Schwed, Adams & McGinley, our experienced personal injury attorneys have decades of legal experience representing those injured in a wide variety of scenarios, including in Florida amusement or adventure park accidents like the March 24th tragedy at Orlando’s ICON Park. Although amusement and adventure parks and rides can be fun and exciting, amusement and adventure park accidents can and do occur with regularity given the checkered safety records or lack of proper safety precautions at many of these parks and on many of the individual rides. If you or one of your loved ones have been the victim of a Florida amusement or adventure park accident, you are entitled under Florida law to seek damages for any injuries you may have suffered. Therefore if you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida amusement or adventure park accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at contact@schwedlaw.com or (877) 694-6079 today.