Schemery Zicolello

A caution to Pennsylvania parents this summer

As warmer temperatures hit Williamsport, parents around Pennsylvania are likely contemplating summer vacation. As spring turns to summer, children will be out of school and around town as families go on vacations. One popular vacation destination for families with children is theme parks. However, parents should understand that sometimes a visit to a theme park can lead to an injury and to a premises liability suit.

According to a new study, almost 93,000 children under the age of 18 had to be taken to and treated at an emergency room for injuries they received while on an amusement ride between 1990 and 2010. While most of these injuries were not serious, at least 61 required an overnight stay at a hospital.

Some parents might be interested to know that these injuries did not just occur at large amusement parks with fixed rides. The data shows that 29 percent of the injuries occurred temporary locations like carnivals and fairs. More surprisingly, approximately 12 percent of these injuries occurred on rides found at shopping malls, arcades and other small locations. These rides include coin operated rides, merry-go-rounds and mini trains.

While Pennsylvania parents can take some precautions to keep their children safe -- including avoiding rides that do not include safety belts and following all height, age and weight requirements -- much of the responsibility lies with the property owner.

If a property owner fails to maintain or repair a ride, that owner can be held liable for damages that ride causes. Property owners have a duty to keep people safe from dangerous property conditions. When these rides cause injury, parents and children do not have to suffer from large medical bills and other costs. Instead, a premises liability suit can help families who have been injured because of a property owner's negligence to focus on their recovery instead of the bills.

Source: USA Today, "Amusement-ride injuries can happen on 'mall rides' too," Michelle Healy, May 1, 2013

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Commonwealth v. Candice Steinbacher – Motion for Judgement Acquittal Granted

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