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Now this is interesting — New York’s Department of Labor, at the urging of Governor Cuomo, will be making public (via website) the department’s inspection and investigation reports.  I’ve found that — in general — states have been receptive to my requests for copies of investigation reports (especially when I cite the state’s FOIA or […]

I’m trying to clean up the blog a bit; I’m anticipating some traffic from appearing on This American Life (on the weekend of August 13! listen!) talking about amusement ride safety.  So, a little note about site stuff: This is actually the third platform I’ve used.  (Took me a while to realize that WordPress was […]

Rep. Ed Markey (D. Mass.) has periodically sought to close what he calls the “rollercoaster loophole” — the statutory provision that excludes fixed-site amusement parks from federal oversight by the CPSC.  In response to the tragic death of Sgt. James Hackemer at Darien Lake, he has renewed that effort. I’m ambivalent about federal oversight.  The CPSC […]

In an interesting intermediate appellate court decision out of California [PDF], a court ruled that primary assumption of risk doesn’t apply in the context of amusement park rides and that factual issues predominated, such that summary judgment was inappropriate.  The case arose out of a doctor’s visit to Cedar Fair’s Great America ride and the […]

For non-fixed-site parks, the CPSC has (non-exclusive) jurisdiction.  While the agency doesn’t do any inspections or approvals, it does from time to time investigate post-incident.  That’s happening now in connection with the recent death at the midway at the Houston Rodeo.  The death has also resulted in a lawsuit by the victim’s survivors. Two interesting […]

Neither document provides much insight into what happened, but here they are anyway: Complaint Answer Both are PDFs.

The Houston Chronicle has the (minimal) details.  The suit was presumably filed to make sure there’s a document retention obligation and a chance to investigate through the civil side.  A Houston Press blog post has some more of the allegations.

It was a tough weekend in the amusement world, especially for this early in the season. First, in South Carolina, a kiddie train overturned, killing a six-year-old boy and injuring dozens.  Coverage suggests that authorities are evaluating the possibility of sabotage, though it’s not clear to me if that’s based on anything in particular, or […]

A half-dozen years ago, a woman died after falling from a Zamperla Hawk ride at Rockin’ Raceway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  I posted quite a number of entries about the case, all of which are here.  It turned out that the microswitches that would prevent the ride from operating when the restraints weren’t locked in […]

The family of Greyson Yoe, who died when he was electrocuted in line for a bumper car ride at the Lake County Fair, proved fault but will receive no additional compensation in their suit against the state agency that oversees amusement rides.  The News-Herald has more, and here’s my recent post on the case (referencing […]