Amusement parks can be both fun and exciting. Every year millions of Americans
visit parks like Six Flags and Worlds of Fun. Unfortunately, many people
are also injured in amusement parks. Whether a person injured in an amusement
park can recover his or her damages depends on a variety of factors, including
the legal duty of care owed by the amusement park, to the injured individual.
Such legal duties are governed by state law and vary widely across the
Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri in
Chavez v. Cedar Fair, LP, WD75373, revisited the issue of the type of legal duty owed to an injured person
by an amusement park operator. The decision did not result a decision
setting forth one single duty, but instead reiterated that the type of
duty owed depends on the specific facts of each case.
The plaintiff in
Chavez suffered injuries while riding a raft ride at Oceans of Fun in Kansas City,
Missouri. At trial, the jury was instructed by the court when defining
the term "negligence", that the defendant owed the plaintiff
a duty of the highest degree of care. The jury found for the plaintiff
and the defendant appealed. On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial
court should have instructed the jury that it only owed the plaintiff
a duty of ordinary care.
The appellate court ruled that the trial court was correct in instructing
the jury to hold the defendant to the highest degree of care standard,
because the plaintiff was essentially a passenger on a ride, and the duty
that would apply to a common carrier applied to the defendant. However,
the court opined that in other Missouri cases, such as one where the plaintiff
alleged that a loose board led to injury, the ordinary care standard was
still appropriate because the case was essentially a premises liability
claim, and ordinary care is the correct standard in such a case under
As is often the case with
personal injury cases, the law governing amusement park liability is complex.
The Montee Law Firm has been helping those injured by the negligence of businesses, including
amusement parks, for decades. If you, or someone you know, have been involved
in a motorcycle accident, contact the Montee Law Firm at 800-788-1996, or
firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.