The parents of a teenager who fell from a trip to the Orlando drop-tower and died in March, filed a lawsuit Monday against an amusement park in Florida.
Yarnell Sampson and Nekia Dodd named Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot LLC, which owns the ride, Icon Park and other parent companies in the lawsuit, which claims 14-year-old Tire Sampson was killed for the amusement park’s negligence.
The trial said that while most freefall rides have “both a shoulder harness and a seat belt,” this one only had an “over-shoulder harness to secure riders.”
The trial also said that “no weight or height restrictions were posted at the ticket counter and no Icon or Slingshot defendant employees, agents, apparent agents, servants or contractors advised Tire on any weight or height restrictions.” The trial also stated that Tire weighed around 380 pounds.
Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Tire’s father, said in a statement obtained by NBC News that “the defendants in Tire’s case showed negligence in a number of ways.”
“One of the most striking examples was the failure to provide a $ 22 seat belt on a trip that cost several million dollars to build,” the statement said.
Sampson slipped out of the harness on the ride with free fall, which is higher than the Statue of Liberty, and fell nearly a hundred feet on March 24th.
After Sampson’s death, the ride was shut down and declared “an immediate serious danger to public health, safety and welfare.”
A recent forensic report revealed error adjustments on the freefall trip, which led to Sampson’s death. Florida Commissioner for Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried highlighted seat manual issues and safety flaws at a April news conference.
“The seat 1’s cord proximity sensor was manually loosened, adjusted and tightened to allow a retention opening of nearly 7 inches,” which is about 4 inches more than the normal opening range, according to a forensic report prepared by Quest Engineering & Failure Analysis.
“These misalignments allowed the safety lights to illuminate, incorrectly satisfying the trip’s electronic safety mechanisms, which allowed the ride to function even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat,” Fried said.