Water park sued for wrongful death after teen's drowning

Water park sued for wrongful death after teen's drowning

Our posts this week have focused on wrongful death lawsuits recently filed in California. Of the many fatal accident scenarios that might warrant a wrongful death lawsuit, things like automobile accidents are common.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss another common claim in wrongful death suits: premises liability, including amusement park accidents. Although this particular case did not occur in California, readers may remember that there have been several amusement park accidents in Southern California this summer alone.

Late last month, a Louisiana couple filed a wrongful death lawsuit against multiple parties who may be liable in the drowning death of their son last summer. The 14-year-old drowned at a Louisiana water park called “Cajun Lagoon” during a youth group outing with his church. The water park and the church are named as defendants in the lawsuit, along with the lifeguard on duty that day and two companies that manufactured inflatable equipment used by the park.

According to news sources, Cajun Lagoon had opened just a few months before the fatal accident. It is described as a large body of water containing a collection of large floatation devices. Certain floating objects are tethered together on the surface while others are held in place by ropes attached to weights in the water below. The lawsuit alleges that the setup is a “dangerous spider web of ropes” made even more hazardous by water that is “dark, muddy and murky.”

With these dangerous conditions, the suit alleges, “any swimmer could have been distressed, drowning and dying below the surface, and those up above would never be able to see or know the victim's struggle.”

In amusement park and water park accidents, injuries and deaths are sometimes the result of attractions that break down or malfunction. Other times, the attractions themselves are unreasonably dangerous even when functioning as intended. In either case, owners of the park may be held liable for accidents that occur as a result of these hazards.

Source: The Times-Picayune, " Drowned boy's parents sue Livingston Parish water park in wrongful death suit," Emily Lane, July 31, 2014

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