California court to rule on amusement park injuries

Amusement parks are meant to be places where customers can kick back and have a little fun. However, accidents can happen and even when the utmost care is taken, injuries are still a possibility.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the California Supreme Court will decide today, Monday, December 31, on whether amusement parks can be held liable for injuries suffered on bumper cars and other thrill rides.

A woman filed a lawsuit after suffering a broken wrist while riding a bumper car at the Great America amusement park in Northern California. According to the source, Cedar Fair L.P., the company that owns the park, said that riders assume personal responsibility when they go on a ride that has inherent risks.

The plaintiff claimed that she should be compensated for her injury, as the park allegedly operated the ride negligently.

Thus far, the court has barred suits that occur over what it calls normal conditions in certain sports - football and skiing - saying that certain legalities recognize that some activities come with a certain amount of risk. 

"The point of the bumper car is to bump," Justice Joyce Kennard noted during the hearing. If the court ruled in favor of the injured patron, he asked if it would it mean "that no bumping is allowed on bumper car rides?"

Mark Rosenberg, representation for the plaintiff said that of course bumping should be allowed. However, he added that the park knew that injuries could occur from head-on collisions - like what happened with his client - and has since reconfigured bumper car operations to avoid them.

While not all businesses need to account for the possibilities of injuries like in bumper cars, it's still wise to ensure that they are protected for unexpected circumstances with customers. Companies in the Golden State would be wise to work with commercial insurance specialists to find a comprehensive California liability insurance policy.




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