Family of Boy Who Died On Amusement Park Ride Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

14-year-old Tyre Sampson tragically fell to his death at ICON Park in Florida.

The family of Tyre Sampson, the 14-year-old who fell to his death from an amusement park ride in Florida has filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing the park, ride operator, and manufacturer for negligence.

According to USA Today, the lawsuit comes just days after the Florida Commission of Agriculture and Consumer Services concluded in a report that the operator of the Orlando Free Fall drop tower manually changed the sensor on specific seats on the ride “resulting in it being unsafe,” according to The Orlando Sentinel. 

The lawsuit alleges that the ride was “unreasonably dangerous,” according to USA Today. They allege that Sampson died as a direct result of the negligence by ICON Park which leases the space and the Slingshot Group which owns and operates the FreeFall ride—which has been billed as the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower.

Florida agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried found after an investigation by an outside engineering firm that sensors were manually changed on at least two seats which allowed harnesses on certain seats to open to “almost double” the normal range. Sampson, who weighed nearly 340 pounds, was in one of those seats. “These mis-adjustments allowed the safety lights to illuminate and properly satisfy the ride’s electronic safety mechanisms that allowed the ride to operate, even though Mr. Sampson was not properly secured in the seat,” Fried said.

Also included in the lawsuit are Funtime Handels GmbH, the Austrian company that manufactured the ride; and Keator Construction, which built the ride. Other businesses connected to the ride are named in the suit.

“The defendants in Tyre’s case showed negligence in a multitude of ways,” family attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “From the ride and seat manufacturers and the installer to the owners and operators, the defendants had more than enough chances to enact safeguards, such as seatbelts, that could have prevented Tyre’s death. They didn’t, and their poor decisions resulted in deadly consequences for a promising young man and lifelong pain for his family.”

The family is currently seeking damages in excess of $30,000 as well as attorney fees.

The ride at ICON Park has been closed indefinitely.

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