In the end of May, we brought you the tragic news of a Navy Veteran who fell to her death from the “FreeDrop USA” attraction at the San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville, California. The attraction claimed to give fair-goers a “true free-fall experience” by allowing participants to jump onto a large inflated pillow-like airbag from varying heights. Sabrina Gordon, 31, fell from a 36-foot high platform but did not land on the inflated surface located under the platform. The attraction was shut down after the incident, but it appears that the San Bernardino accident wasn’t the first in the attraction’s short life. According to multiple news outlets, an Arizona woman was injured after falling from a FreeDrop USA platform in Chandler, Arizona just two months before the tragedy at the San Bernardino County Fair in May.
Amusement Park Catastrophes
Unfortunately, accidents occur at fairs and amusement parks far too frequently. There are several factors that go into why these types of accidents happen. First and foremost, attraction owners involved in traveling fairs and festivals are under immense pressure to act quickly with regard to the assembly, disassembly, and the routine maintenance of its attractions. State and county fairs generally have only a few days to take apart the machines, structures, and safety equipment that go into a fair attraction, transport it and quickly reassemble it in time for the next fair. The mechanical complexity of fair rides combined with the intense time crunch leaves open the potential for errors in assembly, broken or missing attraction components, and unnoticed defects that could prove to create a risk of injury or even death.
Another factor that creates a dangerous situation for fair and amusement park guests is the pressure on operators to reach the highest rider occupancy possible. This problem is most prevalent at fairs where operators financially depend on the money paid for each ride. This reality may cause attraction employees to disregard maintenance issues or other safety requirements in an effort to increase the amount of paying customers. This seems to have been the case when the fair-goer in Arizona was injured on the FreeDrop USA attraction. According to news outlets, the woman was 50 years old and should not have been allowed to experience the attraction based on the policies that were put in place by the manufacturer of FreeDrop USA. Further evidencing the pressure to increase rider volume, the operators of FreeDrop USA allegedly rushed the 50-year-old woman off of the inflated landing area to allow others to jump.
Our Attorneys Can Help You
We understand that going through the traumatic experience of being injured (or having a loved one injured) by a fair or amusement park ride can be hard, but because of the complex and often unique nature of these incidents, quickly contacting an experienced attorney is in your best interest. The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP have significant experience handling amusement ride accident injury cases and related wrongful death litigation. Recently, we helped the victim of an attraction incident at the San Diego County Fair recover an $8 million settlement for their injuries, and given our experience and relationships with experts in the ride/fair industry, we are prepared to help you and your family. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury while at a fair or amusement park, the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP will be more than happy to speak with you or answer any questions you may have.