Just When You Thought Waterparks Were Safe

Photo of Brant Stogner

A waterpark should only illicit fond memories. However, this was not the case on August 9, 2014 when not one but two individuals were severely injured while attending the same event, an organized function benefitting special needs children. 83-year-old Irudayam Yeddanapalli ultimately died in the wading pool preceding the fall of a deaf 2-year-old girl to the bottom of the pool. While the 2-year-old child survived, she was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

The question remains how this happened and how Hawaiian Falls, the waterpark, has such confidence in their safety record, actually stating they looked forward to the legal proceedings.

The event named Champions Day was advertised as a safe event for special needs children, specifically targeting special needs children and their families to attend. With that, an attendee would inherently expect a reasonably high level of safeguards to be taken by Hawaiian Falls. However, the question stands how did Hawaiian Falls expect to protect special needs children when there were too few lifeguards on duty?

It seems difficult to believe Hawaiian Falls' statement that "safety remains [its] No. 1 priority..." when on the day of the tragedy, Hawaiian Falls had just two lifeguards supervising the odd-shaped wading pool. Clearly, there were too few lifeguards as one lifeguard stated she never even noticed Mr. Yeddanapalli because, from her perspective, he was blocked by a concrete pillar. Further, since the commencement of the legal proceedings, Hawaiian Falls has increased the number of lifeguards to four.

Yeddanapalli's family is suing Hawaiian Falls for unsafe conditions, inadequate number of lifeguards, and improperly trained lifeguards.

If you or someone you know was injured or killed in an accident involving an amusement park or waterpark, it is important to know your right to recover. Contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584 for a confidential consultation.

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