Water Park Owner, Slide Designer Face Charges After Fatal Accident
In 2016, a 10-year-old boy was decapitated while on a water slide that a water park had advertised as “the world’s tallest slide.” The tragic incident has now resulted in criminal charges being filed, according to a recent news article.
Criminal charges don’t always occur after accidents, but if an incident occurred because an amusement park or water park operator engaged in wrongful behavior, it is possible that the individual will be criminally prosecuted – depending upon the circumstances.
Those who have been harmed by accidents or who have lost loved ones can also reach out to a Miami amusement park accident lawyer for help pursuing a civil case. Civil cases are separate from any criminal proceedings and the goal of a civil case is for the victim or his family to obtain financial compensation from whomever caused harm.
Criminal Charges Filed Against Water Park Operator and Slide Designer
In this particular case, there were specific facts that led to the water park owner and the slide designer being charged with reckless second-degree murder — a crime which carries a potential penalty of 9 years to 41 years of imprisonment. The private construction company that constructed the slide was also charged, along with the park owner, designer and construction company, which faced charges of 17 other felonies including aggravated endangerment of a child.
According to the indictments, the water park owner made the decision in 2012 to try to build the world’s tallest water slide. He wanted to rush the project because he was hoping to impress producers of a show being filmed for the Travel Chanel.
Because his hope was to rush the project, important steps in the design process were skipped. There were no engineers who were directly involved in the design of the slide, and when early reports emerged that some of the rafts on the slide went air born, the water park owner and the slide designer started secretly testing the slide at night so there would be less scrutiny.
The slide was operational for a total of 182 days after its design and construction was completed and during that time, a total of 13 people got hurt – including two people who sustained concussions. In one instance, the slide caused a 15-year-old to temporarily go blind while riding the slide.
This case is an unusual one because of the fact that the water park owner and slide designer allegedly didn’t get the right help in the design process and did not engage in fair and impartial testing. It is rare for water park or amusement park owners to face so many criminal charges when something goes wrong. Civil lawsuits are far more common. The family of the decapitated young boy reportedly settled already this particular case for $20 million. The water park operator also settled with two women who were seriously hurt while riding in the same raft with the boy who was killed.
If you or a loved one suffers injury at an amusement park or water park, contact a Miami amusement park accident lawyer for help to determine if you can pursue a civil suit that could result in a settlement or jury verdict that provides you with the compensation you deserve.