There are many favorite American pastimes, and one that has seemed to continually gain popularity is visiting amusement parks. While the ferris wheels of yester year still exist and are an enjoyable tradition, the amusement parks of today often consist of thrilling rides to quench the thirst of the adrenaline seeker. However, as American amusement park rides get bigger and better, so must the safety standards that go with them. These two things – a terrifying coaster and adhering to safety – must coincide.
The law of premises liability includes amusement and theme parks. Because the guests of these parks are paying patrons, known under tort law as invitees, they must be afforded the utmost care by the landowners and operators. Under the legal duty owed to invitees, landowners and operators must routinely inspect the grounds for known dangers, remedy any discovered dangers in a timely manner, and make invitees aware of any known dangers. Where an invitee is injured on the ground due to a danger that should have been known of or already fixed, then the amusement park can be held liable for negligence in a lawsuit. The plaintiff must then prove that their injuries and suffering were the result of negligence by the park where as a patron they should have been warned about the danger, or the danger should have been discovered by the park and fixed.
According to recent news by KTLA 5 a Six Flags Magic Mountain rollercoaster, known as Colossus, caught fire and collapsed. The roller coaster had been closed for renovation and was being worked on by crews at the time of the fire who were using heat equipment. No injuries from smoke and falling debris have yet been reported, and the accident is still under investigation. Photos from the accident show a pillar of smoke rising from the peak, the highest point in the ride. Portions of the rollercoaster were charred black, and planks of began to fall to the ground below, and then eventually part of the track collapsed.
It is the duty of these parks to maintain a safe environment free of dangers. In this particular incident it appears that proper precautions were not used to prevent a fire and collapse of the rollercoaster. If any injuries and illnesses arise after this accident, such as burns or smoke inhalation, this amusement may be held liable for negligence, as the park was open during this renovation and there were patrons present in the park. However, the law imposes a time limit on the time a victim has to commence a legal cause of action for personal injuries, called the Statute of Limitations. That is why it is important that if anyone finds out they have suffered injury from this accident that they take legal action as quickly as possible because the legal time clock “starts ticking” as soon as a victim knows of their injury or should have known and discovered their injury.
If you have been injured on another’s property, it is important that you seek legal help in a timely manner. Our personal injury and premises liability attorneys would be happy to speak to you in a free consultation to evaluate your claim and discuss your situation and legal options available to you. Call us today, and we may be able to help you with your potential case.