The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo carnival reportedly reached a settlement this month, with the family of a three year old girl who was violently thrown from one of the carnival rides last year. The girl was on the ride “Techno Jump” with her eight year old brother, when she somehow slipped under the restraint bar and fell some 6-8 feet to the ground. She sustained a concussion and some other minor injuries. The girl was apparently tall for her age, meeting the minimum height requirement for the ride.
The lawsuit, against the owner of the Rodeo, Ray Cammack Shows, Inc. was filed last November, claiming negligence.
The child’s mother, Shanjea Pennygraph, sought damages for
relevant medical care, medical expenses, physical pain and past and present emotional distress. The filing also sought compensation for current and potential physical injuries. The Pennygraph family is reported to receive nearly $80,000 from the settlement.
This incident has allegedly prompted rodeo officials to revise guidelines for 16 of its amusements, which include the Techno Jump. The new guidelines revise the requirements for children not tall enough to ride alone. Children under a certain height may only ride if they have a “supervising companion” whom is at least sixteen years old.
Carnival safety has been under increased scrutiny following the tragic death of 47-year-old Brian Greenhouse, who fell from the Hi Miler roller coaster during the samerodeo held in 2011. Greenhouse’s case settled last April. While Ray Cammack Shows admitted no liability, Greenhouse’s 7 year old son received $1.9 million in annuities, which guarantee at least $2.9 million in benefits. Additionally, the man’s parents were expected to secure $372,500 each in separate claims.
Injuries sustained while at an amusement park can have more than one legal component. This is because they can implicate both personal injury theories, such as negligence of the ride operator, but can also implicate fault of the property owner, such as poorly maintained rides. This is based on a theory that landowners owe a duty of care to visitors, and that duty encompasses a duty to maintain the land and inspect it to ensure that it is free from unreasonable dangers.
What is additionally interesting about this case in particular, is that it involved a fall out of a ride at the same rodeo in which a man had died the year prior. The man’s family had also sued the rodeo, meaning there was no way it was not on notice of the potentially negligent or dangerous conditions present. It is upsetting to think that this poor girl’s injuries could have been prevented. Hopefully the rodeo’s improved safety measures and guidelines will prevent anyone else from falling out of rides and getting hurt.
If you or your child was injured as a result of negligent ride operation, Maryland accident attorneys can help you identify the responsible parties and get the compensation you deserve.
The injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are skilled at pursuing justice for people in Maryland who have been injured as a result of dangerous amusement park conditions or poorly maintained rides. We also handle cases involving other types of personal injury, including car accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products. You can contact us through using our online contact form, or by calling (800) 654-1949, for a free and confidential consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Parents of 7 Year-Old File Notice of Intent to Sue Police for Allegedly Handcuffing, Interrogating Child for 10 Hours, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published February 11, 2013
Mother of Man Allegedly Killed by Store Employee Sues for Battery, Maryland Accident Law Blog, published January 25, 2013