On August 2, 2013, a three-year old boy drowned in an outdoor kids’ pool at the Kalahari water park in Sandusky, Ohio. The family has since filed a wrongful death suit against the water park, alleging the toddler was not wearing a life vest as required by the park and there were insufficient lifeguards at the park to monitor the number of guests. Over a million guests visit this particular water park each year, and while park officials maintain they acted appropriately, the state of Ohio has fined Kalahari five times since 2005 for lifeguard shortages and other issues. Two lifeguards were on duty at the time of the drowning, however state regulations require a third lifeguard when more than fifty people are in the water.
Drowning Fatalities Not All That Uncommon in Miami
Unfortunately, this tragic drowning is hardly an isolated incident. With over fifteen major water parks in Florida–and many smaller one–the risks of a serious accident or fatality increase exponentially. In fact, Florida has a history of ranking the highest for unintentional drowning among children aged 1-4 and, during certain years, Florida’s drowning rate has been as much as three times the national average. Of course, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that these numbers include drowning in bathtubs, home pools, public pools, in natural water sources as well as in public water parks. Nationwide, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1-14.
Miami Water Park Drowning
A visit to a water park in the Miami area should be a fun activity for all involved, however when negligence on the part of the park or its employees results in a serious injury or loss of a loved one, it could be necessary to file a civil lawsuit against the park. The water parks in Florida draw thousands of visitors each and every day, particularly during the hottest summer months. While there is a certain inherent risk associated with water rides, tide pools and other water attractions in a water park, in some cases injuries could have been avoided if the attractions had been properly built, maintained and inspected. In other cases, negligent park supervision may be to blame for drowning or near-drowning accidents. Tightened economies can result in water parks that fail to maintain equipment in a safe operating condition or who skimp on supervision staff in order to save money. In order to avoid a water park drowning in Miami, water park operators have a legal obligation to ensure the grounds are safe for all visitors.
Questions Pertinent to a Water Park Drowning in Miami
Miami water parks may have extra considerations in the event of an injury or death such as the fact that admission tickets may contain liability releases or limit the time allowed to file suit. Questions your Miami personal injury attorney will want to ask could include:
• What was the attendance at the water park on the day of the accident?
• Had the staffing recently changed or were inexperienced staff on duty?
• Where poor policies and practices in evidence?
• Was there inadequate supervision of specific areas of the water park?
• Had the site of the accident been recently inspected?
• Was there an unexpectedly large crowd on the day of the accident?
Other water park injuries
Our firm has represented numerous client’s in claims against water parks. Currently, we represent a young boy who suffered a very bad leg fracture on the way down a water slide at a famous Miami hotel. We needed to hire an expert to review the design and operation of the slide in a effort to determine how and why the injury occurred. We have also represented people who have bee injured in water theme parks when the were injured because the park’s staff failed to properly monitor rafters, allowing them to pile on one another.
Getting Help from an Experienced Miami Personal Injury Lawyer
The lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have over three decades of experience and can help those who suffered injury or a fatality in a Miami water park due to negligence. Our knowledgeable attorneys will work hard to prove the park owner or other responsible party liable for the drowning accident, with a goal of proving the parks act or failure to act directly led to the accident.
Please contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 to set up your free consultation. Greenberg Stone and Urbano has been voted one of “South Florida’s Top Rated Lawyers” by the Miami Herald, are “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell, has been named SuperLawyers and have been accepted into the Primerus group of leading law firms.