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Settlement reached in fatal roller coaster fall

It is always difficult for people to accept the loss of a loved one, especially if the loss is caused by another person's negligence. If there is enough evidence to prove that negligent parties were at fault, family members of victims can seek justice by filing wrongful death actions. If their claims are successful, they will receive adequate compensation, either through a negotiated settlement or a court award. Readers in Miami may be interested to hear of such a case.

The family members of an Iraq veteran who passed away after falling out of a roller coaster have reached a settlement with the company that operates the amusement park where the accident occurred. Lawyers representing the two parties said that they could not disclose the exact amount of the settlement, but it was a seven-figure amount. The victim's two daughters, aged 4 and 3 at the time of the accident, were named as beneficiaries in the settlement agreement.

The 29-year-old victim lost both of his legs in a roadside bombing incident when he was serving in Iraq. He went to the Darien Lake Theme Park in Genesee County, New York, on July 8, 2011, with his family, and he fell out of the Ride of Steel roller coaster, plunging about 150 feet before hitting the ground. According to state officials, the theme park was at fault because its workers did not abide by the rules displayed at the entrance of the ride, which state that all participants must have both legs.

This incident occurred in New York, but wrongful death laws in Miami and other parts of the country are very much the same. A settlement, no matter its monetary value, cannot fully compensate for the loss of a loved one and the emotional distress that follows the loss. It can, however, make it easier for the beneficiaries to move on with their lives and prevent similar accidents in the future.

Source: The Palladium-Times, "Settlement in Iraq vet's fatal fall from coaster," Jan. 8, 2013

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