Lawsuit launched against local park over roller coaster derailment

Lawsuit claims that park was negligent in incident that stranded 22 riders

A lawsuit has been filed against a popular Southern California amusement park in connection to a roller coaster accident that occurred July 7, according to the Los Angeles Times. The roller coaster train partially derailed when a tree collapsed onto the track, stranding 22 passengers and injuring two who had to be taken to hospital. The lawsuit claims that by building the roller coaster so close to the trees, the park was negligent and created a ride that was dangerous and defective.

Train derails

The incident occurred when a tree fell onto a section of the roller coaster's track, causing a train filled with riders to partially derail when it struck the tree. The riders were suspended in midair 40 feet above the ground for two hours as firefighters worked to rescue them.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the park failed to make sure that the roller coaster was safe to ride on. The attorney representing the plaintiffs questioned the wisdom of building a roller coaster that weaves between numerous closely placed trees. One of the plaintiffs claims a tree branch hit him in the head and left him bleeding. The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount for lost income, medical expenses, and legal costs.

Amusement park injuries on the rise

As MarketWatch recently reported, incidents such as the one described above are becoming increasingly common in American amusement parks. In the past decade, there has been a general upward trend in the number of amusement park injuries in the U.S., with over 27,000 injuries reported last year compared to over 15,000 reported in 2005.

According to MarketWatch, one of the reasons for the increase may be because there is no federal oversight for inspecting fixed amusement park rides. Instead, states and counties are free to set their own inspection standards. In some states, such as Alabama and Texas, amusement parks are largely left to inspect themselves.

Liability and personal injury

As the above case shows, an injury can occur at almost any place and time, even during what should have been an enjoyable day out at an amusement park. Roller coasters, of course, are not the only cause of personal injuries, and incidents such as motor vehicle accidents or defective products can also leave victims with debilitating and catastrophic injuries.

Anybody who has suffered a personal injury that may have, at least in part, been caused by the negligence of another party should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can provide the legal representation clients need in order to make sure any negligent party is held accountable for his or her actions.