A recent lawsuit against a New Jersey amusement park is leaving everyone dazed and confused. The father of a minor child is suing the Six Flags amusement park in Jackson, New Jersey over the Bugs Bunny Camp Carousel, alleging the ride caused his son to lose his balance and hit his head.
The Bugs Bunny Carousel is made for smaller children and even has straps to keep them from falling while on the ride. Parents are also able to ride the attraction with their children.
But the problem occurred not while the ride was in operation, rather, after the fun was done. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff’s son fell after the carousel had stopped and the child has been unfastened so he could exit.
The plaintiff’s lawyers claim Six Flags was “reckless” and “negligent” in its operation of the ride. Let’s examine this: amusement park rides generally move, spin, or contain some motion that creates a “thrilling” sensation for the participant. That is surely true of the Bugs Bunny ride, even though it is a scaled down carousel for kids. We’re just as certain the ride was full of other children, all of whom presumably safely exited the amusement.
Getting dizzy from an amusement ride certainly could cause one to lose one’s balance. But is this cause for litigation against the park? More likely, the reason for the suit was the potential for a big payout. The court documents show that the plaintiffs’ lawyers are asking for at least $75,000 in damages. The case is also being brought four years after the alleged incident. This timing may be due more to statute of limitations expiration than anything.
This case appears to be yet another example of our “lawsuit happy” climate, where we see life’s inevitable bumps as an opportunity to get money from our neighbors, the corner dry cleaner, the supermarket, and now the amusement park.