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Theme Park Facing Legal Action After Allegedly Crippling Child

Posted in: back-spine Public Liability 

A theme park is facing legal action after a girl suffered a spinal cord injury after going on a rollercoaster at a Warrington theme park.

Lawyers for 17-year-old Emma Neild claim that she suffered severe spinal cord injuries caused by serious head injuries and jerked head movements when riding a rollercoaster called Antelope.

She was aged 12 at the time. Solicitors claimed that the ride is a significant risk to children and are now seeking damages.

Failure in Duty of Care

Although a claim has been made bosses at the park insist that there is no proof of a link between the injuries sustained by Emma being due to the ride, the mother of Miss Neild has claimed that the park failed in their duty of care stating that the seatbelts, minimum seating and safety measures in place.

Miss Neild’s solicitors claim that the seats in the ride, the headroom available and the restraints in place were not appropriate.

A writ to the High Court stated that Emma suffered serious spinal cord injuries that have left her partially paralysed and “wheelchair dependent”.

Emma’s barrister, Gerard McDermott QC, stated that this was in no doubt due to the 20-year-old rollercoaster. According to the barrister, the ride was definitely at fault for the injuries sustained as Emma was sitting in the last carriage at the back of the ride and experienced very strong “oscillations” due to G-force.

The solicitor stated that this “had the effect of forcing a passenger’s head forwards and backwards”. After she had been on the ride, she immediately felt unwell and had soreness in her neck and back.

She went on no further rides after the Antelope and by the time she got home she was sick and unable to support her own weight or walk properly. An MRI scan later revealed that she had damaged a spinal cord. Since the incident, Emma has been dependent on the wheelchair and requires assistance to carry out the vast majority of daily functions.

Her defence team are seeking personal injury compensation without an upper limit and wish to be compensated for further injuries or a worsening of the condition later in life. They are also seeking for some sort of payment to recover the cost of care as well as safeguard the future of any future costs.

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