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Was waterpark death the result of dangerous property conditions?

Hoosiers may seek out the adventures of waterparks over the course of the hot summer season, as many families do. Unfortunately, what should have been a fun family day at the waterpark for one Kansas family ended in tragedy, following a deadly accident. A 10-year-old boy died while riding on the world's tallest water slide, called the Verrückt, at Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City.

Though the circumstances of the young boy's death are still being investigated, it appears he died from a neck injury. He was found by firefighters and police in the pool at the end of the ride. The water park is currently closed as an investigation is underway.

The Verrückt requires that two or three riders are strapped into a raft before the raft slides down a slide over 168 feet tall. The young boy was in the slide with two other adult women. There are some reports that the harness straps were not working properly on the slide on the day of the accident.

Frighteningly, many people are injured due to potentially dangerous property conditions at amusement parks every year. According to one study, thousands of children suffer injuries every year on amusement park rides, with head and neck injuries being the most common injuries.

This waterpark could potentially be facing a premises liability lawsuit due to its role in this young boy's death. Property owners, including waterpark owners, must maintain safe premises that will not injure patrons. In the event a waterpark patron suffers an injury or death, as in this case, due to the negligence of the waterpark, including maintenance of potentially defective equipment, the owner of the waterpark may bear legal responsibility for the injuries or death.

Source: CNN, "Schlitterbahn death was due to neck injury, police say," Steven Visser & AnneClaire Stapleton, Aug. 9, 2016

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