The ride operator's decision to continue operations of the roller coaster demonstrates an astonishing level of carelessness toward the safey of the little children who ride the rides
Houston, TX (PRWEB) March 29, 2011
Houston Injury Attorney Joe Stephens has sent a formal complaint letter to the Texas Department of Insurance in the wake of last week’s fatal Houston rollercoaster accident, contending that inaction by the ride’s owners and operators created a “statistical certainty” that someone would be killed. He calls for a major investigation by the state into Sunday’s accident, which claimed the life of a 47-year-old father.
Stephens, who represented a client in 2002 in a Houston injury lawsuit against Ray Cammack Shows, (Harris County cause no. 2002-53262), assisted another woman in complaining to the Texas Department of Insurance about the Hi-Miler rollercoaster two years ago. In that instance, the lap bar failed in the first car on the coaster, leaving them unrestrained. Then, this past Sunday, a patron was killed after falling 30 feet to his death from the front car of the same coaster.
“Though you asked the Carnival operators to inspect and fix it, they obviously did not heed your instructions, ” Stephens wrote in the complaint to the Texas Department of Insurance, which is charged with regulating carnival rides. “The entire ride should have been shut down until they redesigned the underlying problem of the latching bar. Unless it was corrected, it was a statistical certainty that someone would be killed.”
Stephens notes the media is reporting another patron complained about the ride just four days before the fatal accident.
“The ride operators therefore knew that this was a reoccurring problem, yet failed to correct it, or shut the ride down,” Stephens wrote. “The ride operator’s decision to continue operations of the Hi-Miler demonstrates an astonishing level of carelessness toward the safety of the rodeo patrons and their little children who ride the rides.”
In calling for a major investigation by the state of Texas, Stephens complaint letter notes:
-Representatives of the company appeared on television news and denied any knowledge of previous safety complaints about the ride.
-Other lawsuits and complaints against the company appear to establish a pattern of unsafe practices.
-There appears to be a pattern of either not reporting or under-reporting accidents, as required by state regulators.
-An investigation by the Houston Press determined Ray Cammack Shows leads the state in reported injuries at traveling carnivals – even exceeding the number of injuries at some stationary amusement parks.
-The company’s report to the Texas Department of Insurance regarding Sunday’s fatal accident mentions only “possible internal or pre-existing injury,” despite the fact that someone died. A report of another patron’s injuries states “patron fell on him” despite the fact that it was the victim who had plummeted 30 feet from the overhead rollercoaster and landed on a patron’s ankle.
“The public has the right to expect that the carnival rides are safe,” Stephens said. “What we have now is a group that has shown that they are more concerned with corporate profits than with the safety of our children, and their parents.”
Houston Personal Injury Attorney Joe Stephens recently obtained a $3.75 million wrongful death verdict against convicted murderer Clara Harris, who was convicted of running over her husband in her Mercedes after finding him with his mistress. Attorney Stephens has nearly three decades of experience representing personal injury and wrongful death cases. A Personal Injury Trial Law Specialist through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1993, Attorney Stephens has won multiple verdicts over $1 million and is a Million Dollar Advocates Member.
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