Man injured on fair ride wins damages
Reporter: Andrew Rudkin
Date online: 22 March 2013
A FAIRGROUND company has been found liable for injuries when a high-octane ride’s safety bar failed.
Riders were left screaming and hanging on when the safety bar of the Hollinwood funfair’s “Miami Trip” ride lifted while the ride was operating at full speed. Their terror continued for around 20 seconds, Manchester County Court heard.
Four years on, Michael Todd of Buttermere Grove Royton, has succeeded in a damages claim after suffering a broken rib. He pulled the safety bar down three times at heights of up to 15ft following the malfunction at the “Blackpool Comes To Oldham” fair in 2009.
Mr Todd, who has received an undisclosed sum in the thousands, said: “What happened should not have happened. The injuries could have been much worse. The whole incident was petrifying.
Another witness told the court the ride had suffered a similar failure three days before Mr Todd was injured.
His Honour Judge Platts told funfair owner Jan de Koning the judgment didn’t reflect personal responsibility on him or on funfairs he operated. Mr de Koning told the court the ride had been inspected and passed only a week before the accident, and the ride had been closed down immediately afterwards.
The court found Mr de Koning had been “let down” by his staff, who should have reported the earlier failure, and who also should have pressed the emergency shutdown button more quickly during the second incident.
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