"We treat it like a crime scene until we determine there's no foul play," Greeneville Police Detective Captain Tim Davis told the Times Free Press in August 2016. "We don't know at this time what caused the accident." There were no criminal charges filed after three people fell 30 to 45 feet from a Ferris wheel at the Greene County Fair in Tennessee last summer.
But two federal lawsuits have been filed against the ride's operators, Family Attractions Amusement Company, as well as the manufacturer, High-Lite Rides Inc.
Reynolds vs. the Ride
According to one lawsuit, filed by the family of 10-year-old Kayla Reynolds and her 6-year-old sister, Briley, claims the girls' gondola became stuck at around the one o'clock position and began to tilt. Ride operator Jesus Herrera-Cabanas failed to stop the Ferris wheel and the ride continued to move, the Greenville Sun reports:
As onlookers described hearing a "thump" or "click" and metal "scraping," "breaking" and "screeching," Kimberly fell from the gondola, hitting the roof of the gondola below before hitting the railing platform and falling onto the ground. Briley followed, hitting the gondola roof below and then falling straight to the ground.
The suit claims Briley remained unconscious for about 10 minutes after the accident, suffering seizure activity, and was put into an induced coma at Niswonger Children's Hospital due to swelling on the brain and ventilation for respiratory failure. Briley received extended treatments for traumatic brain injury, including physical, neurological, and speech therapy, and continues to suffer neurophysiological injuries, including frequent nightmares and short-term memory loss. Kayla's injures were less severe, but she did break her arm.
Beware Falling Passengers
The other lawsuit was filed by Lorena Cowhy, who was injured when the falling girls struck her gondola, causing her to fall onto the floor where her left shoulder and bicep hit the gondola's center pole as the ride continued to tip and sway. Her lawsuit claims her injuries required "extensive physical therapy, steroid injections and possible surgeries."
Both suits are seeking unspecified damages from the Ferris wheel manufacturer, operators, and anyone who may have performed any maintenance on the ride.
- Find Personal Injury Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- When to Sue for Theme Park Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
- County Fair Sued Over E. Coli Petting-Zoo Death (FindLaw's Injured)
- Ferris Wheel Death: Abiah Jones, 11, Died in Fall (FindLaw's Injured)
Any misdiagnosis, whether falsely identifying an issue that doesn't exist or failing to discover one that does, can be harmful. This can be especially true for hyperthyroidism, which affects millions of people per year. If not accurately diagnosed, those people may go untreated, or undergo potentially harmful treatments based on a doctor's misreading of their symptoms.
Misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice, and doctors that fail to properly diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism can be held liable. Here's what you need to know.
Malpractice, Misdiagnosis, and Negligence
If you think a doctor failed to diagnose your hyperthyroidism or gave you an erroneous diagnosis, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. In essence, most medical malpractice claims are alleging a form of negligence by a doctor or other medical professional. Medical malpractice claims based on a theory of negligence require four essential elements:
- Duty: A doctor owed you a duty of care, generally the basis of any doctor-patient relationship;
- Breach: A doctor breached his or her duty by misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose your hyperthyroidism when a reasonably competent doctor in his her same position would not have;
- Causation: The doctor's misdiagnosis -- and not some other factor -- caused you harm, a likely event if hyperthyroidism goes untreated or mistreated;
- Damages: That harm you suffered is quantifiable and compensable, to some degree.
Doctors, Diagnosis, and Complications
Courts will judge doctors and their decisions based on what a reasonably prudent doctor would have done under similar circumstances. So it may be difficult to prove malpractice if your doctor did exactly what any other competent doctor would've done in treating your hyperthyroidism (or lack thereof).
In addition, medical malpractice claims can be especially complicated, often requiring the disclosure of detailed medical records and patient information, along with experts to testify regarding your injuries and your doctor's alleged misdiagnosis. Talk to an experienced injury attorney if you're considering a medical malpractice claim based on a hyperthyroidism misdiagnosis.
- Find Medical Malpractice Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- Prognosis Misdiagnosis: Can You Sue If Wrongly Diagnosed With Alzheimer's? (FindLaw's Injured)
- Can You Sue a Doctor for Emotional Distress? (FindLaw's Injured)
- Common Examples of Medical Negligence (FindLaw's Injured)
Nothing says summer like a water slide. Whether you're rocketing down a chute at a water park or zipping into a backyard swimming pool, there's just something about the sun and spray that spells freedom and fun.
Unfortunately, water slides can also spell danger, and water slide injuries are far too common to ignore. So what happens if you or a loved one is injured on a water slide? That could depend on where that slide is. Here's what you need to know.
Theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks are responsible for operating safe rides and amusements and maintaining safe areas around them. A park could be held liable for injuries on a water slide if the slide is defective or a park's negligence caused a ride to be improperly operated or maintained, or the slide's manufacturer could also be liable if the slide has a defect in design, manufacturing, or warnings.
The park could also be held liable for the actions its employees -- including lifeguards, slide operators, and even maintenance personnel -- if they fail to operate the slide safely, monitor guests' use of the slide, or repair the slide when needed. Accidents and injuries caused by a water park employee will be the liability of the park if the employee's actions fell within his or her scope of employment.
Not all water slides are at public parks. If you or a neighbor has a slide attached to a pool, or if you've got a nifty slip 'n slide setup in the backyard, the homeowner could be liable for any injuries sustained from the slide. Even if a pool or backyard isn't open to the public, homeowners are still responsible for maintaining a hazard-free environment for guests. And pool owners especially must take care that friends and strangers alike are not injured in what the law considers an "attractive nuisance."
Whether you've been injured on a water slide, or someone else has been injured on your water slide, you should contact an experienced injury attorney today.
- Find Personal Injury Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- 5 Ways to Sue Over Theme Park Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
- Inflatable Slide Recall May Lead to Lawsuits (FindLaw's Injured)
- Ky. Waterpark Slapped With Lawsuits Over Slide Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
Going to a theme park can be the highlight of any person's summer. For the most part, rides and attractions are safe, but things can go wrong. When a guest is injured at a theme park, that guest might be left wondering what rights they have to recover for their injuries.
Although theme parks frequently try to limit their liability by requiring guests to agree to liability waivers as a condition of entry, these will not always protect the parks. Surprisingly, theme park injuries tend to have a high settlement rate.
Can Theme Parks Require Liability Waivers
Technically, yes, a theme park can require all attendees sign liability waivers. Yes, a theme park can deny entry to someone that refuses to sign a waiver. However, how enforceable any liability waiver will be depends on the circumstances, and the extent of the liability disclaimed. Generally, waivers that go too far can often be entirely, or partially, voided. Often times, waivers will only be valid as to general negligence, and not gross negligence.
Even smaller theme parks, such as water parks, laser tag arenas, trampoline parks, and even mini golf, can require liability waivers be signed. Additionally, parks can disclaim liability for injuries caused due to a person's own negligence, as well as the assumption of risk.
Making a Claim Against a Theme Park
For most large theme parks, a person may be able to file a claim directly with the park to resolve their injury claim without ever filing a lawsuit. However, if an individual opts to go this route, they need to be cautious not to let their statute of limitations expire. Basically, if you do not settle your case or file a lawsuit within the state's statute of limitations, a theme park will not be willing to negotiate with you any more because you won't be able to file a lawsuit.
Often, even if you do not want to file a lawsuit, contacting an experienced personal injury attorney to handle your informal claim is a good idea. Even if you are partly to blame for the injury, a good attorney might be able to help you recover. Injury attorneys generally do not charge upfront costs and are experienced in negotiating claims. Most importantly, an injury attorney will know what is an appropriate settlement amount, and can ensure that your share of the settlement isn't eaten up paying back medical bills or insurance providers.
- Get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area today (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- Who's Liable for Waterpark Injuries? (FindLaw's Injured)
- Facing Lawsuit, Ky. Theme Park Countersues Over 'Staged' Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
- Amusement Park Sued for Letting Chimp Smoke and Drink Coke (FindLaw's Legally Weird)