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Florida amusement park will ‘absolutely’ be held liable in incident that killed teenager: Former US attorney

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A former United States attorney and personal injury lawyer says that the Orlando, Florida amusement park will “absolutely” be held liable in an incident that resulted in the death of a 14-year-old boy.

Tyre Sampson, 14, fell off of the FreeFall ride at Orlando’s ICON Park on Thursday night. The ride is 430-fee-tall, according to the attraction. 

Video footage of the incident show the FreeFall ride moments before the 14-year-old fell to his death.

Sampson was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Authorities reportedly said that the 911 call was placed just before 11:15 p.m. E.T.

FLORIDA AMUSEMENT PARK VISITORS IN SHOCK AFTER SEEING TEENAGER FALL OFF RIDE: ‘DID YOU CHECK HIM?’

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park’s rides.
(Fox 35)

The family of Sampson has retained civil rights lawyer Ben Crump and personal injury attorney Bob Hilliard to represent them, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Personal injury lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Neama Rahmani told Fox News Digital that ICON Park will “absolutely” be held liable in the incident which led to Sampson’s death.

“Absolutely, they’re going to be held liable. No Question,” Rahmani said.

Rahmani said that the amusement park has a responsibility to keep their rides safe, and added that this case deals with a minor.

“Not only do they have a duty to make sure that the rides are safe, you’re talking about a minor, right?,” Rahmani said. “They have an absolute responsibility to make sure that their rides are safe. I mean, minors are riding that.”

He added that the only argument that the park can give would be the assumption of risk by going on the ride, which he said is a “weak argument.”

“The only possible defense would be some sort of contributory negligence or comparative negligence and assumption of the risk that this child knew the seatbelt was unsafe and chose to ride anyway. It’s a very weak argument, and it could easily inflame a jury. You’re talking about a child, right?,” Rahmani said.

TEENAGER FALLS TO DEATH FROM FLORIDA AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

“It’s a weak argument, but it’s really the only argument, the only possible defense here. I don’t think it’s a good one,” Rahmani said.

Rahmani said that in a personal injury claim, liability, damages, and coverage are looked at. All of these elements are met, he says.

“Liability is crystal clear, in my opinion. Damages are through the roof, I mean, what’s worse than losing a child under these circumstances and watching it happen, and have the whole world circulate videos of his death. And then coverage, obviously theme parks have a lot of coverage and assets. It’s a very, very strong personal injury claim,” Rahmani said.

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

FLORIDA’S ICON PARK: WHAT TO KNOW

Since the Orlando FreeFall is operated by the Slingshot group, and located at ICON Park, Rahmani says that they both could be on the hook for what took place.

ICON Park tweeted a statement, which says it is cooperating with law enforcement and grieving the tragedy.

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In a statement, the SlingShot Group, which operates the Orlando FreeFall, said that it will cooperate with the investigation and expressed its deepest sympathy to family and friends of Sampson.

“We are heartbroken with the incident that took the life of one of our guests. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and ride officials on a full investigation. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed until further notice,” the statement reads.

Fox News has reached out to ICON Park and SlingShot Group.

Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report

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