The amusement park industry includes businesses and operators who provide visitors with rides, shows, and refreshments. Despite crowded conditions, more than 155 million Americans visited the nation’s top amusement parks in 2018, according to the National Institute of Health. All owners and operators of carnivals, fairs and amusement parks owe a duty of care to provide safe rides for their visitors.
Tennessee requires that a third party perform an inspection of rides within three months of applying for a permit. The state, however, does not require inspectors to check rides for metal corrosion, as reported by WBIR-TV 10News. If injuries occur because of corroded parts, the amusement park may face liability for damages.
Corroded metal parts may malfunction
Rides made of metal parts may rust or deteriorate. Owners need to hire their own inspectors to monitor their equipment, which includes regular checkups for corroding metal.
If an operator overlooks a ride’s wear and tear or allows metal to continue on a path to corrosion, a mechanical failure may result. A ride subject to rust typically needs regular upkeep; it may require special preventive measures in rainy or damp weather.
Families sue after ride accident
Three girls fell approximately 40 feet from an overturned gondola while on a ride at a Tennessee fair during the summer of 2016. The accident caused severe harm to the three young victims, including a traumatic brain injury, and the families sued. As reported by The Greeneville Sun, investigators found that mechanical failure due to metal wear caused the gondola to malfunction.
Injured riders may file legal actions against fairs, carnivals or amusement parks. Under certain circumstances, a ride’s manufacturer may also incur liability for expenses such as hospitalization, long-term medical treatment and rehabilitation.