The family of a teen who died after falling from a Florida amusement-park ride last month has filed a wrongful-death suit against several defendants.
Tyre Samson, 14, slipped out of his safety harness on the Free Fall attraction at ICON Park in Orlando on March 24 and plunged to his death in front of horrified witnesses.
His family’s lawsuit targets three entities: ride manufacturer Funtime Thrill Rides, owner-operator Slingshot Group and ICON Park.
The suit claims that Samson was “subject to unreasonably dangerous and foreseeable risks, and that serious injury and death of the occupants in the ride could result,” according to News 6.
Samson’s family has stated that he had been turned away from other rides the day of his death because of his weight.
The 14-year-old football standout from Missouri was well over 300 pounds.
“Be careful when seeing if large guests fit into the seats,” a manual for the ride states. “Check that they fit within the contours of the seat and the bracket fits properly. If this is not so — Do not let this person ride.”
A report from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found that a safety harness had been manually adjusted to twice its normal range before Samson took his seat.
The study concluded that there was no electronic malfunction but that the harness had been “misadjusted.”
The lawsuit asserts that staffers should not have been able to manipulate the safety feature and that a monitoring system should have been in place to stop the ride from functioning if riders weren’t properly secured.
Samson’s family is being represented by high-profile lawyer Benjamin Crump.
Samson’s mother, Nekia Dodd, is scheduled to speak publicly for the first time Tuesday.
The suit does not specify the amount of damages being sought.