Could Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park be liable in child’s death?

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Investigators are in the early stages of determining how a 6-year-old girl died at a popular Colorado amusement park and whether anyone is at fault.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is closed following the incident on the Haunted Mine Drop ride Sunday. The victim is from Colorado Springs but has not been identified.

Guests are required to sign a liability waiver before getting on the ride. The waiver, posted on the park’s website, states that participants understand rides can pose the risk of injury or death. By signing, they agree to hold harmless the park and its affiliates for any and all liability.

Bruce Braley is a Denver-based attorney with a background in amusement park law.

“I don’t think the average person who gets on one of these rides understands the scope of what they’re doing when they sign that liability waiver,” Braley said.

Braley said liability waivers are common at amusement parks. It won’t protect the park from potential criminal charges, but it can protect them against civil liability in certain circumstances.

“Under Colorado law, they look at the language of these waivers and apply a four-part test to see if the liability waiver is fair and valid. Without knowing more about the circumstances of what happened, it’s impossible to know how the court would interpret this particular waiver,” Braley said.

Braley said any potential blame will be revealed through the investigation.

State regulations require annual inspections of amusement park rides as well as daily safety checks.

“That means on Sunday there should have been a safety check done by someone and that should be part of the investigation we expect to see,” Braley said.

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