The owner of the Kansas water park where 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was fatally injured in a water slide accident in 2016 has been taken into custody by US Marshals, according to report from CBS News. Jeffrey Henry, who is co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, was booked into Cameron County jail in Texas March 26th. Charges listed on the Cameron County jail website include murder, aggravated battery and aggravated endangerment of a child. On March 27th, a judge ordered he be held without bond as the criminal trial against him proceeds.
This arrest follows the indictment of Tyler Austin Miles, the park’s former director of operations, and the Schlitterbahn waterpark itself. The 47-page indictment slams Henry as having “no technical or engineering credentials” and that he set a “rushed timeline” for the project. Miles’ attorneys released a statement stating their intent to respond to the indictment “point by point” in the coming months.
Amusement park accidents are a more common occurrence than you might think. At the current time, there are no state or federal agencies who monitor accidents at amusement parks so exact numbers of injuries and deaths are hard to come by. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that there were over 30,000 emergency room visits associated with amusement attractions in 2016, according to their press secretary Patty Davis. She also added that there have been 22 fatalities on amusement rides since 2010.
The most common areas injured by amusement rides are the head, neck and upper/lower trunk (back), with over 47% of injuries being to these three areas alone. Sprains and strains are the most frequent injury diagnosis at 35% of injuries, followed by contusions and abrasions at 24%. Less common but more severe types of injury include broken bones, drowning, aneurysm, stroke or other traumatic brain injuries. The rides operators or creators may be held liable for these injuries under product liability and premises liability law.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an amusement park ride accident, call our experienced legal team at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. We will ensure that your legal rights are protected and help you claim the compensation you deserve. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, allowing us to represent clients Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the nation.