It seems like there is a carnival, festival or fair almost every week in Florida. In fact there are 51 annual fairs statewide. Some of the more well-known fairs are located in the northern and central parts of the state. The Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City, including the 60 ride Mighty Blue Grass Carnival, is one of the most famous. Another is the Florida State Fair in Tampa which has been drawing large crowds since 1904. The biggest fair in the state, however,rushed is in south Florida which is the Miami-Dade County Fair that attracts over one half million visitors per year.
The fairs and carnivals in Florida are maintained by a small group of amusement companies. These companies have multiple obligations to be in different locations both statewide and interstate on stringent schedules. They arrive one day and need to be completely set up and operating the next. Then at the close of their stint in one location, they pack up and rush to the next where the rushed set-up is repeated. This hasty construction can lead to dangers lurking with the carnival thrill rides. Defective parts may go unnoticed, parts may be installed improperly, safety measures may be missing and more. With this haste in setting up there is much room for human error. The safety of patrons takes a back seat in many cases to the demand for becoming operational as quickly as possible.
Another area of potential safety deficiency in Florida carnival rides is lack of training on the part of ride operators. The transient nature of carnivals and fairs creates a large turnover in help. The companies are required to train the personnel as quickly as possible to keep on schedule. Many receive their training when the fair is operating on full schedule. There is also a lack of background and reference checking with some amusement companies. The goal is to fill a vacant spot and keep moving.
At Florida carnivals and fairs there may exist many areas of potential injury. According to a study in 2013 by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio, amusement ride injuries sent 20 children per day, on an average, to hospital emergency rooms nationwide. Some of the areas of negligence causing injury included:
- Mechanical failure
- Improper assembly or operation
- Tripping and falling
- Electrical shock from exposed wiring
- Careless behavior on the part of the ride operator
- Safety restraints that were missing of malfunctioning
- Inadequate or missing warning signs
- Untrained or inadequately trained staff.
In addition to negligence on the part of carnival employees, contracted workers and the amusement company, injuries can also occur from the individual rides being defective, due to manufacturing errors or the implementation of inadequate parts.
Premises vs. Product Liability?
Whether an injury falls under premises liability or defective product liability, requires the experience of an attorney who has handled carnival ride injury suits in the past. A person who was injured or who had a loved one that was injured or killed due to a Florida carnival ride should never hire a personal injury attorney from a lawyer referral site or a large phone book ad. They need to seek the services of a law firm that has experience in premises liability as well as product liability.
If you or someone you care about was injured at a fair or carnival, the lawyers at Dolman Law Group are here to help. Call today for a free, no obligation evaluation of your case. There may be compensation available for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income. Call now at (727) 853-6275, as evidence in these cases tends to fade with time, due to the transient nature of the carnival industry.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652