You Assume the Risk At Amusement Parks

California Supreme Court: Amusement parks not financially liable for injuries suffered on thrill rides.

 IN a case that will likely be cited in states other than California, the California Supreme Court takes a giant step backwards in Sumer safety. What happens in cases where the operator is inadequately trained or is not paying attention thereby increasing the risk of injury. While people who ride bumper cars do so with the expectation the cars will be bumped into, they also expect that the equipment is maintained to minimize shock and that operators are adequately trained. Perhaps what is most troubling about this case is the court’s  inclusion of “under thrill rides.” Does that mean if you are on a Ferris wheel and you are injured that you assume that risk? What is the definition of a thrill ride? Does that extend to children’s rides such as merry-go-round’s? It looks like at least in California we are taking a step backwards to “let the buyer beware.”


The AP (12/31) reported, “The California Supreme Court has ruled that amusement parks are not financially responsible for injuries suffered on bumper cars or other thrill rides. The state’s high court on Monday ruled that people who ride in bumper cars automatically assume some risk – like those playing football or other sports – and therefore cannot sue after being injured.” According to the story, the court’s opinion “reversed a state appeals court ruling in favor of the plaintiff, who had sued a Northern California amusement park after breaking her wrist while on the bumper cars.”