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State Asks to be Dismissed From Lawsuit Targeting Adventureland Theme Park


Who is responsible for the death of an 11-year-old boy and the severe injuries to his brother and father? The courts will have to answer that question as the complicated personal injury lawsuit against Adventureland Theme Park moves forward.

According to the lawsuit, the family was on the Raging River ride when their raft flipped over trapping them in the water. The 11-year-old boy drowned as a result of the accident and his father and brother were severely injured. A subsequent state report found that the park violated 17 safety standards that contributed to the boy’s death and his relatives’ injuries. The ride has since been shuttered after the park was acquired by new owners.

The family filed a lawsuit against the park’s previous owners in 2022. In April, they amended the complaint to include allegations against the State of Iowa and the engineers and vendors who worked the ride.

Recently, the parties appeared in court to debate whether the State of Iowa should also be named as a party to the dispute, and to assign a trial date to the case. The State has recently moved to have the allegations against them dismissed.

Can you sue state inspectors for failing to cite a theme park?

 The day before the plaintiffs’ raft flipped over, a state inspector reviewed the ride and rated it to be “satisfactory” and safe for operation. The family amended their complaint to include the state inspector who vouched for the ride’s safety. The family contends that the inspector, whose son worked for the park, was negligent in failing to identify the numerous safety issues that resulted in an 11-year-old boy’s death. According to the complaint, “Many of the 17 safety violations found after [the decedent’s] death in the Amusement Ride Safety Division’s own Safety Order were present and able to be observed and detected, prior to the … tragedy.”

The family wants to hold the inspector accountable for failing to catch problems with the ride before it was too late. The state has since filed a motion to dismiss itself from the case. It argues, according to past precedent, that it cannot be held liable because state inspectors do not have a “special duty” to park-goers and because how it conducts inspections involves judgment calls based on “social, economic, and political policy” that fall within its legal discretion.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that this isn’t the case. The state has a particular duty to amusement park visitors because of legislation that specifically directs the Iowa Division of Labor to ensure parks are safe for patrons. Further, the state has failed to identify what “social, economic or political” factors are served by an inspector ignoring obvious safety concerns.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Amusement Park Liability Lawyer Today 

The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of Tampa residents who have been injured either on an amusement park ride or on the grounds of an amusement park. Call our Tampa personal injury lawyers today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your next steps to recovering damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.



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