TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Carnival Lawsuit

Over at, where I write about amusement and carnival safety (among other things), I've posted the complaint in a lawsuit over the death of a man in 2004 on a ride called the Sizzler in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.  The ride (a spinning ride) essentially fell apart around the rider and threw him to his death.  Subsequent regulator investigations indicated poor maintenance and apparent use of improper parts in replacing bolts and the like.

There's nothing particularly unusual about the case, but it presents potentially useful examples of a lot of things -- a case that you might think would be a products case, but with no manufacturer in it (the ride is the most popular carnival ride in the world, has existed for decades, and the potential defect is essentially new, plus the manufacturer has been in and out of bankruptcy); an attempt to get the insurance company directly on the hook, given the relatively low insurance limits of the ride owner and operator (and their lack of other assets); and implications of connections among the insurer and the ride financing company.

If you're looking for an example case, it might be of interest.

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