It was announced on Monday that the family of a Missouri teenager who died last month after sliding from an amusement park ride in Orlando, Florida, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the park’s operator.
Tyre Sampson, 14, died on March 24 after falling from a Free Fall ride at ICON Park. He was 14 years old.
Plaintiffs in the 65-page case filed in Orange County’s 9th Judicial Circuit Court include Yarnell Sampson and Nekia Dodd, who are both described as the father and mother of the deceased boy.
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Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot LLC, which owns the Free Fall, and ICON Park were named as defendants in the lawsuit. It was not possible to reach a representative from ICON Park on Monday immediately.
Additionally identified as defendants are Funtime Handels GMBH and Gerstlauer Amusement Rides GMBH, both Austrian companies that were involved in the design and production of the ride, according to NBC station WESH. No one from the group could be reached for comment on the situation.
In a statement posted Monday, attorneys for the Slingshot group said that while the company is not directly involved in the complaint, it is collaborating with state investigators.
It was stated in the statement: “We emphasize that we followed all protocols, processes, and safety precautions recommended by the ride’s manufacturer.” “We look forward to working with the Florida government to bring about reform in the sector, and we also support… the ‘Tyre Sampson Bill,’ which seeks to avoid a horrible accident like this from occurring again in the future.”
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According to the lawsuit, the teen’s life was cut short unnecessarily.
“Tyre was a standout student and football player,” the article continues. Despite his prowess on the football field, he was renowned as a kind-hearted individual who was concerned about the well-being of those around him.
‘Tyre was looking forward to a long and wealthy life ahead of him, but it was cut short by this awful tragedy,’ says the author.
It was alleged in the lawsuit that “ICON DEFENDANTS owed a duty to its customers, including Plaintiffs’ decedent, TYRE SAMPSON,” to exercise reasonable care in the operation of, management of, upkeep of, designing, inspecting, constructing, testing, fixing, and/or controlling the amusement park rides located on its premises, including the subject Free Fall amusement park ride.
As part of this failure, the suit alleges that the defendants failed to instruct their “workers, contractors, and agents as to the required and safe height and weight requirements for the Free Fall amusement park ride.”
A further allegation in the case was that, while most rides identical to the Free Fall are equipped with a harness and seat belt, the Free Fall ride was not equipped with safety belts.
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According to the lawsuit, the anticipated cost of installing $22 seat belts in each of the ride’s 30 seats is $660.
Tyre’s father is being represented by attorney Ben Crump, who stated in a statement released Monday that the ride and seat maker failed to properly integrate safety features in the vehicle. Tyre was ejected from the ride and reportedly fell at least a hundred feet into the hard pavement after being expelled, according to the statement.
In Tyre’s case, Crump argued, “the defendants showed negligence in a variety of ways.” “One of the more egregious examples was the failure to supply a $22 seatbelt on a ride that had cost several million dollars to build,” says the author.
In this case, the defendants had more than enough opportunities to employ precautions, such as seatbelts, that could have avoided Tyre’s death. But they chose not to. They didn’t, and their poor decisions ended in the death of a promising young man and the suffering of his family for the rest of their lives,” Crump said in a statement.