The parents of Tyre Sampson have filed a lawsuit against ICON Park in Orlando, Florida a month after Tyre fell from a ride and passed away. Tyre was 14 years old when he fell from a drop tower-style ride at the end of March. According to a report by TMZ, his family's lawsuit claims that the operator of the ride should have stopped Tyre from getting on.
Tyre's parents Nekia Dodd and Yarnell Sampson are working with attorneys Michael Haggard and Ben Crump on a lawsuit against ICON Park. The suit also names the creators of the ride – The Free Fall – and its operators, among others. The lawsuit accuses them of negligence, saying that there were no signs to indicate that Tyre was above the height or weight limit and that no employees informed him either. The lawsuit also argues that the ride was simply not safe enough in the first place, even for those within the stated safety parameters.
The first round of court documents include detailed breakdowns of ICON's Free Fall ride and other rides of the same style at other theme parks. Similar towers are often protected by seat belts and shoulder harnesses, while Tyre's family says that there was no seatbelt on his ride. They believe this was one of the main reasons why he was ejected from the seat and thrown to the ground.
The lawsuit asks for strict liability against ICON and other defendants in the case. In addition to damages, the lawsuit requests a trial before a judge and jury against the theme park. The family is expected to make more public statements in the hopes of pleading their case to the public.
For those catching up, first responders were called to ICON Park late on the evening on the evening of Thursday, March 24 in Orlando, Florida. Paramedics found that 14-year-old Tyre had fallen about 100 feet from the Free Fall ride and landed on the ground below. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but he succumbed to his injuries and passed away there.
Firefighters and police were also on the scene, including the Orange County Sheriff's Department. They later said that the incident "appears to be a terrible tragedy." The Free Fall ride and the adjacent Slingshot ride were both shut down indefinitely, but other than that no legal action was taken. Tyre's family's lawsuit may be the catalyst to change that.