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Parents may file wrongful death lawsuit against Ferris wheel owners

New Jersey beaches are full during this time of year with many school children enjoying summer break and parents on vacation. A relaxing trip to the New Jersey shore took a disastrous turn for one family after their daughter fell from a Ferris wheel at a seaside amusement park.

The parents of the 11-year-old girl have met with a personal injury attorney and will likely file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Ferris wheel operators. A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury action in which the relatives of a deceased person can hold those responsible for the wrongful death accountable. Damages awarded from wrongful death lawsuits may cover medical expenses associated with the accident, funeral expenses, and emotional pain and suffering.

The mother of the 11-year-old said that she knew something was wrong when her cousin called her to tell her about the accident. The mother said that she knew something was amiss because the cousin was breathless and had trouble speaking.

“On our way up there, they told me,” the mother said. “I asked ‘What’s wrong?’ and I asked them ‘Is she alive?’ and they told me no.”

Reports of this unfortunate accident indicate that the girl fell out of a gondola and plunged nearly 150 feet. The girl landed on a metal platform at the bottom of the ride and did not survive her injuries. The parents believe that the ride was unsafe because it did not contain adequate restraints.

“I work in construction,” the girl’s father said. “If I’m more than six feet off the ground, I have to wear a safety harness. If you’re 150 feet in the air, there should be some sort of safety harness.”

New Jersey Carnival Ride Safety Unit did not find any mechanical defects on the Ferris wheel.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Parents in Ferris wheel death have lawyers on case,” James Osborne, 6/15/11

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