A multi-million dollar settlement was recently reached in a two-year legal battle following an unfortunate amusement park ride accident in California in 2008.
The Yo-Yo amusement park ride, with chairs that swing passengers round and round above the ground, requires regular and thorough maintenance. The Yo-Yo ride manufacturer, the aptly named Chance Rides, requires the cylinder to be sent back from the owner and rebuilt every five years.
But, in the case of the Yo-Yo ride at the county fair in Angels Camp, California, its owners did nothing to maintain the ride for at least 10 years, exhibiting substantial property owner negligence.
The Wichita Eagle reports that on May 16, 2008, the Yo-Yo ride in Angels Camp collapsed and injured 23 people, most of whom were children. All of the Milligan family’s four children were injured on the ride after it collapsed, and were dragged on the ground for one-and-a-half revolutions.
The arms simply fell off when nuts came loose, according to the Wichita Eagle.
The attorney who represented the family said, “Essentially, they sacrificed consumer safety for their own protection.” Apparently, it was financial protection, as both the current owner (Midway of Fun) and the prior owner did nothing to maintain the ride since 1997.
The settlement involves more than $3.3 million to be paid to the Milligan family; one of the Milligan children has ongoing learning disabilities from severe brain injury as a result of the collapse.
Nine people were injured in a 2006 accident involving the Yo-Yo ride in Texas, prompting Chance Rides to issue a warning, but Midway of Fun apparently ignored that warning when maintaining their own Yo-Yo ride equipment.
Following the Angels Camp accident in 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 85 Yo-Yo rides.