Amusement Park LiabilityCan an amusement park be held liable for your injuries while you were on an amusement park ride? Amusement park liability explained.

We all have been to the amusement parks for what else, amusement. We take our children, family, and we go with our friends. It’s supposed to be a good time. A time to just relax, have fun, and enjoy. But sometimes accidents happen and someone is injured due to the negligence of the amusement park. Under normal circumstances, everybody is held to the standard duty of care, which just means what a reasonable person would have done under the circumstances. This duty of care is heightened for public carriers like Greyhound. Basically, it just means that public transportation carriers must take it up a notch to take care of their passengers.

 In Gomez v. Walt Disney Company (2005) 35 Cal.4th 1125, the Court ruled that operators of roller coasters or similar amusement park rides, are subject to a heightened duty of care as defined in California Civil Code Sections 2100 and 2101.  CCC Section 2100 states: “A carrier of person for reward must use the utmost care and diligence for their safe carriage, must provide everything necessary for that purpose, and must exercise to that end a reasonable degree of skill. Furthermore, CCC Section 2101 states: “A carrier of persons for reward is bound to provide vehicles safe and fit for the purpose to which they are put, and is not excused for default in this respect by any degree of care.”

In Gomez, Plaintiff suffered a severe brain injury and eventually died as a result of riding the Indiana Jones roller coaster ride.  The Court made no distinction between whether or not a passenger was riding for transportation purposes or entertainment.  A passenger’s purpose for riding is irrelevant.  These rides are operated “for profit and are held out to the public to be safe…[and] operated in the expectation that thousands of patrons, many of them children, will occupy their seats.” (Ibid. at 1136.)  Furthermore, relying on a Colorado Supreme Court decision in Lewis v. Buckskin Joe’s, Inc. (1964) 156 Colo. 46, the Court stated verbatim, “The important facts are the plaintiffs had surrendered themselves to the care and custody of the defendants; they had given up their freedom of movement and actions; there was not[h]ing they could do to cause or prevent the accident.”  Gomez v. Walt Disney Company, 35 Cal.4th, supra at 1125.

This now applies to amusement park rides as well under Gomez above. Because of amusement park liability rules, it is easier now for an injured person to win on the issue of whether or not the amusement park should be held liable for any injuries caused while a person is using an amusement park ride. Call The Law Firm of R. Sam for details regarding amusement park liability.