Lawyers Want Lessons Learnt after Toddler ‘Battered’ by Theme Park Ride

Lawyers Safety Warning After Toddler Injured On Ride

14.04.2011

Lawyers have launched a safety warning to Scottish parents planning an Easter trip to a theme park or funfair after a three-year-old toddler suffered facial injuries on one of the country’s most popular kiddies’ rides.

Nicola Towill’s daughter, Rebecca was left battered and bruised after a five-minute ordeal on the Big Apple Caterpillar rollercoaster at M&D’s Theme Park, Motherwell in May 2010. She was too short and the safety bar was at her face height, leaving her screaming in agony as she was bounced around on the ride, banging her head on the bar.

Following the ordeal Ms Towill turned to expert lawyers at the Glasgow office of law firm Irwin Mitchell for help and bosses at M&D’s have admitted fault for the incident, acknowledging that Rebecca should have been prevented from riding the rollercoaster and that her safety bar was not fastened correctly.

The incident left Rebecca with a lump on the side of her head, serious bruising and a scrape down the side of her eye – and she’s now petrified of fairground rides.

The family was awarded an undisclosed sum and Nicola has warned other parents to be vigilant as thousands of people head to similar attractions this summer.

Ms Towill said: “Rebecca ran up to the ride just before it started – she was allowed on by an M&D’s worker, even though we later saw that a nearby height chart made it clear she was 21cm too short.

“This was incredibly distressing for Rebecca and for us – she was in tears and screaming for the ride to stop. We are grateful her injuries weren’t much worse but she has been incredibly traumatised by this – the very least you expect is that basic safety procedures will be observed when you entrust your children’s safety to other people at a fairground.”

Elaine Russell, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is important that companies ensure that they fulfil the duty of care they owe to the public, particularly when children are involved. If they had fulfilled that duty then this accident would not have happened.

“This fun family day outing ended when the child suffered an injury that was completely preventable. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that an accident of this nature has occurred. We would urge parents and equally, those businesses that have a more child-based clientele, to be extra vigilant over the forthcoming Easter holidays to prevent such an incident occurring again.”