Death at Wild Rivers Water Park in Irvine, CA - Adamson Ahdoot

California Legal Blog

Death at a Los Angeles Water Park

July 8, 2024 María López Garcia
Home » Blog » Death at a Los Angeles Water Park

12-Year-Old Child Dies in Medical Incident at Irvine’s Wild Rivers Water Park

California is known for its exciting and large amusement parks. As one of the main tourist attractions, it is home to famous parks such as Disneyland Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, Legoland or the Wild Rivers Water Park in Irvine, where there was a recent death.

The chances of having an accident at a water or theme park are minimal. Despite the fact that a person is more likely to be injured in an incident such as a car collision or a slip and fall, accidents still occur at these facilities every year. The large number of visitors to theme parks makes negligence more likely, resulting in accidents that cause injuries or even deaths.

Recently, a Los Angeles water park incident shocked the California community following the death of a 12-year-old boy after suffering a medical emergency at Wild Rivers Park in Irvine, Southern California. Despite being rushed to a nearby hospital, the boy died shortly thereafter.

This tragic accident has left many visitors and theme park enthusiasts with many questions: How many deaths have occurred at amusement parks in California? What are the statistics for waterslide accident injuries? Can I file a theme park lawsuit for my injuries? 

Two children on a slide, like the ones there are in Wild Rivers in Irvine.

At Adamson Ahdoot, we can answer all of your questions today. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we are experts in successfully recovering compensation for injury claims. Trust our bilingual amusement park accident attorney to help you with your case. Available 24/7, you can call us today at (800) 310-1606 or submit your consultation online.

Amusement Park Statistics

California is known for having the best theme parks in the country. If we focus on the numbers, these amusement and water parks are statistically safe. However, this does not prevent them from suffering mishaps from time to time. These incidents are usually the result of amusement parks’ negligence, which leads to malfunctions that cause injuries and even deaths.

  • Approximately 4,200 people go to the emergency room each year after being injured at amusement and theme parks. Most of these visits are for scratches, concussions, broken bones, or back pain.
  • According to a 2007 study by The Safety Record, arm and leg fractures accounted for 18% of injuries, followed by lacerations at 18%, and concussions at 15%.
  • A 2013 report from Nationwide Children’s Hospital looked at childhood injuries and found that 29% were soft tissue, 28% were head and neck, 21% were sprains, and 20% were cuts.
  • According to the IAAPA, more than 385 million people visit amusement parks each year.
  • The odds of being injured at amusement or water parks are 1 in 15.5 million.
  • The CPSC recorded 1,299 injuries from amusement park accidents in 2019. That’s 3.7 injuries for every 1 million people.
  • Approximately 4.5 deaths per year occur as a result of roller coasters.

Recent Theme Park Accidents

The list of theme park accidents throughout history is long. In addition to the recent death at Wild Rivers in Irvine, other park incidents have been reported in the past few weeks. The most recent amusement park accident occurred in early July 2024 at Disney California Adventure Park. Then, 20 people suffered emotional injuries after taking a ride on the park’s Incredicoaster. According to reports, the ride stopped in the middle of the track for more than an hour.

A few weeks earlier, another Disneyland Resort park suffered an incident. This time a fatal one. A 60-year-old employee died in an accident after falling off a golf cart at Disneyland Park. The employee, who was the manager of Club 33, suffered a concussion in the fall.

Months before these accidents, a famous and popular amusement park in California was the scene of an incident that injured more than a dozen people. About 15 riders suffered injuries after boarding the iconic tram at Universal Studios Hollywood. The ride, which was celebrating its 60th anniversary, crashed after hitting a railing during its iconic ride.

As we have seen, California’s water and theme parks are not exempt from injuries. Dozens of injuries and deaths are reported each year as a result of negligence. It is worth noting that amusement parks like Disney try to cover up an injury lawsuit by offering victims a quick and confidential settlement. In this way, word of the incident never gets out. In fact, the details of some of the worst amusement park accidents are still unknown today.

Common Causes of Amusement Park Injuries and Deaths

Roller coasters and water slides at a Los Angeles water or theme park are regularly inspected and have accident prevention systems in place. However, there can always be defects that go unnoticed by inspectors and safety mechanisms. In addition to ride injuries, there are other elements that can lead to a theme park accident. Here is a list of the most common causes of injury and death at California amusement parks:

  • Roller coaster incidents. High speeds, obstacles on the track, poor operator handling of the ride, or improperly adjusted harnesses.
  • Water slide accidents. Overcrowding of riders on the slide due to improper ride control, obstacles in the ride, etc.
  • Ride failures and malfunctions. These accidents are caused by the failure of systems and safety mechanisms.
  • Slips-and-falls
  • Drowning
  • Bacterial infections
  • Food poisoning
  • Vehicle collisions. Both in parking lots and on trolleys operated within the park.
  • Death due to negligence.

Also, some of the most common amusement park and water park injuries include:

  • Severe bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Head trauma
  • Back and neck pain
  • Paralysis
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Amputation 
  • Disfigurement

Who’s Liable for an Amusement Park Accident?

If you or your child has been injured at an amusement or water park, you have the right to file a theme park lawsuit. Whether you suffered personal injuries or emotional distress, you can seek compensation for the damages you sustained.

One of the biggest challenges in filing a theme park lawsuit is proving liability. Under California statutes, amusement parks are subject to the premises liability law. This means that the owner or manager of the park has a duty to keep the premises safe. As a result, they are liable when accidents occur on rides and water slides. In addition, sometimes there is more than one party at fault in an amusement or water park incident. For example, in the case of an accident involving a defective ride, the victim may have a claim against both the operator and the manufacturer for amusement park injuries.

Among the possible parties responsible for an injury accident at a Los Angeles water or theme park are:

  • The manufacturer or seller, for defects in the design of the ride.
  • The technicians or engineers, if they failed to properly maintain the rides.
  • The negligence of the operator or attendant of the ride.
  • The driver of a tram or trolley, in the event of a vehicle collision.
  • Another park visitor, if they were the one who committed the negligence that caused the injuries.

Here are the types of errors that commonly occur in amusement park accidents:

  • Lack of inspection of facilities.
  • Poor maintenance of roller coasters, waterslides, or rides.
  • Improper operation of dangerous attractions.
  • Not being prepared or trained to carry certain equipment or operate certain systems.
  • Hiring unqualified personnel to ensure the safety of visitors.
  • Outdated safety systems.
  • Failure to comply with California safety laws and regulations.

California Amusement Park Settlements

When filing a theme park lawsuit, there is no limit to the amount a victim can recover. However, when calculating how much to seek in damages, an amusement park accident lawyer is key. These accident experts know how to determine the value of your case, whether it is for death or injury. In the case of the Wild Rivers Irvine death, the victim’s family will need to speak with a legal professional to determine if the California theme park was negligent.

Some of the damages you may be able to recover include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages
  • Disfigurement
  • Death of spouse
  • Wrongful death

Amusement Park Injury Lawsuit Experts 

Injured at a theme park in the Los Angeles area? Let us handle your case. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, Adamson Ahdoot is a bilingual law firm based in Los Angeles. Our amusement park accident lawyer is an expert in obtaining successful settlements for injured victims in California.

If you want justice and compensation for damages caused by an accident, we can help. Call us today at (800) 310-1606 or submit your case through our website.

Client-First Approach

Above all else, our clients come first. We go above and beyond to obtain the highest level of compensation possible.

Meet Our Attorneys

Multi-Focus Law Firm

Adamson Ahdoot has successfully executed a plethora of personal injury cases.

Cases We Handle

Get in touch with our firm

Our team can better advise you on your legal options once we receive any available evidence about the incident.

Take Action Now