The entire country was shocked recently as video surfaced of a common carnival amusement ride crashing to the ground, killing one victim and injuring seven more. When this type of tragedy happens, it begs the question about the safety of carnival rides and accountability when they malfunction and cause injury.
The incident occurred at the Ohio State Fair. According to the LA Times, it involved a ride called the Fire Ball, where a mechanical arm swings and spins passengers back and forth up to 40 feet off of the ground, and at 13 revolutions per minute. The gondola-style swing broke away from the supporting arm and flung passengers through the air before crashing to the ground.
In response to the incident, the Amusement Ride and Tramway Unit of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CDOSH) reportedly made a formal request for all owners of similarly-styled attractions within the state to voluntarily close them down, pending state inspections or safety clearance from the ride manufacturers. The request affected six rides within the state, which have all been voluntarily shut down.
The dangers of carnival rides
Particularly in the summer months, fairs and temporary carnivals pop up across Southern California. These entertaining events include rides that are frequently set up and taken down as the fair moves from one location to the next. The frequency of this constant assembling creates the potential for serious problems stemming from:
- Mistakes in the setup of the rides
- Pieces or mechanisms breaking during the setup or takedown process
- Unqualified carnival workers setting up the rides
- Malfunction during operation of the ride
- Lack of adequate oversight of the industry and the safety of the rides
In California, the CDOSH oversees carnival ride safety. According to the agency’s guidelines, “portable amusement rides are inspected before they are originally put into operation for the public’s use and thereafter at least once every year. Portable rides may also be inspected each time they are disassembled and reassembled.” This policy leaves much to be desired. Various problems can develop in the course of a year between safety inspections. In addition, more frequent inspections at the time of assembly or disassembly are not mandatory, meaning they may or may not happen.
As witnessed in the Ohio State Fair accident, the most severe carnival ride accidents may cause fatalities and serious harms. Some of the more common carnival ride injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries from the jolts of the ride or hitting the head against a foreign object
- Broken bones from falls or ejections
When these injuries occur, a skilled California personal injury attorney assists you in seeking compensation from all responsible parties. Particularly in a carnival-type situation, liability may lie with multiple parties, including the ride manufacturer, the ride owner, an individual ride attendant, or the owner of the premises where the carnival was held.
The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys of Taylor & Ring have the knowledge and skill necessary to seek compensation from all responsible parties. If you were injured by carnival ride, let us fight for your rights. Contact us today at 310.776.6390 or complete our contact form.
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