Family sues zip line operator after boy falls 20 feet in Florida
The family of a boy seriously injured after falling from a zip line in Lakeland, Florida claims operators did not properly check or secure the harness.
A 10-year-old Florida boy who suffered serious injuries when he smashed into a concrete floor after falling 20 feet from a zip line attraction was not properly secured in his harness at the time, according to a new report from the state's Department of Agriculture that blames the accident on "operator error."
The child, who was not immediately identified, was at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Lakeland on Sept. 1 and on the "Sky Rider" when the incident occurred.
The indoor zip line is designed to carry one person at a time along a track inside the park, WTSP reported. Video of the child's fall shows him sitting upright and holding something above his head as he moves down the track.
The boy zooms forward on the ride, but as the track ends, he suddenly goes flying through the air — before dropping 20 feet and landing on the concrete ground below.
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An investigation by the Florida Department of Agriculture found the 10-year-old was not properly secured in his harness when the accident occurred.
"The child’s leg straps were not buckled, leaving him holding on with his arms until he lost his grip," WTSP reported, citing the report.
“Our inspector noted no deficiencies in the equipment at the time of the incident nor did Urban Air have a history of device deficiencies during prior inspections of the facility," the Agriculture Department said in a statement. "The report indicates that the incident was a result of operator error.”
The child's family subsequently filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., claiming the boy suffered "significant injuries" from the fall.
Urban Air said in a statement to WTSP they are "fully committed to the uncompromising safety and well-being of our guests and employees."
"As a family-owned and operated company, safety is at the heart of everything we do. We take matters of this nature very seriously and can assure that appropriate measures have been taken," the statement read. "All staff members have been retrained on all attractions and the employees in question are no longer with us. We are thankful to hear that the child is back in school and we will continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers through his full recovery.”
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