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Posts Tagged "design"

Did Defective Road Contribute To Tragic Car Crash In Bithlo/Christmas?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Motor vehicle accidents, Wrongful Death Claims

Did Defective Road Contribute To Tragic Car Crash In Bithlo/Christmas?

Many of us here in Winter Park — and especially those of us who are parents of recent and current Winter Park High School students — were shocked and saddened to learn of a tragic car accident that happened a couple of nights ago out in the Bithlo/ Christmas area. The one-car crash killed Thomas Stutts and Justin Vail, and injured Omokolap Hunpatin, after the SUV they were traveling in left the roadway of Fort Christmas Road, crashed through a fence, and into a tree. The coverage that I saw was from the good folks at WESH.com (who I think always do a great job on local reporting.) As an attorney who has handled car accident and wrongful death cases for a long time, a couple of things struck me about the story. First, I was shocked at the destruction to the SUV that these young men had been driving in. I was, frankly, surprised that anyone could have survived this crash. I was not surprised to hear from the Florida Highway Patrol that speed may have been a factor in the crash. However, my interest really perked up when the WESH reporter started interviewing neighbors, who reported that horrible accidents (many of them involving fatalities) happen along that seemingly quiet road all the time. Video captured for the story showed multiple crosses and other memorials laid out beside Fort Christmas Road where other fatal crashes have presumably occurred. Normally, a governmental entity cannot be held responsible for planning-level decisions — such the decision to build a road, or where the road will travel, or where to put a stop sign. However, when it becomes apparent that something about the design of the road contains some kind of defect or makes for a dangerous condition, then a governmental entity can be held responsible for damages for personal injuries or wrongful death. When I hear about multiple deaths on the same stretch of road over a period of time, I start to wonder whether we have a defective road.  I become suspicious that perhaps the County, or State, or whichever entity built that road, could have done more to make it safer – like perhaps installed barriers on the edge of the roadway, or speed humps, or some other similar seemingly simple remedy that might have saved these young men’s precious lives. If you have any questions regarding a Florida car accident or wrongful death case, please call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-254-4901 for a free, no obligation strategy session, or download their free, information-packed Florida car accident guide by clicking...

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Could Many Of Today’s Theme Park Rides Be Defectively Designed?

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Theme Park Accidents

Could Many Of Today’s Theme Park Rides Be Defectively Designed?

I happened across a great post on one of my favorite law blogs, ThePopTort, concerning the horrible tragedy that occurred on the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas. As most readers of this blog will know, a 52-year old woman was killed a few weeks ago when she fell out of the ride while it negotiated some kind of twisting turn at a high rate of speed. The original PopTort blog post really touched on two issues – the lack of government regulation and oversight when it comes to thrill rides such as roller coasters, and the type of riders that the rides are designed to accommodate. Since I’ve previously discussed the regulatory picture in Florida (or lack thereof) when it comes to theme parks, I found the elements of the post in the ThePopTort blog dealing with ride design most interesting. According to Ken Martin, an amusement park ride and safety expert, most of today’s thrill ride designers fail to properly take into account the increasing size of the average human — and especially the average American. It seems that most rides are designed to accommodate a 180 lb. adult – which is supposed to represent 95 percent of the riding population. According to the Centers for disease control the average weight for American males is 191 lbs., and 161 lbs. for females – which means that are a lot of possible too-large people riding the rides. According to Mr. Martin, this extra weight causes a lot more force to be exerted on ride safety restraints, and also means that ride restraints might not fit the the rider the way they are supposed to. Either way, the inconsistency between ride design and the size of the actual riders creates a potentially very dangerous situation which, in the Six Flags case, may have ultimately resulted in a lady’s death. If you have any questions following a Florida theme park accident or injury, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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