Slate’s Law Blog

City of Albuquerque Pays Settlement to Woman Injured on Carousel Ride

Who says that Halloween is just for kids? There are plenty of adults who enjoy creepy, spooky fun but few events to accommodate them. Not every adult wants to stay home and watch R-rate creature features on Netflix. Some want to enjoy Halloween night as children enjoy it, except perhaps with the addition of some adult beverages. Those neighborhood families who hand out cans of beer to the parents who escort the children as they fill their pumpkin-shaped buckets with candy corn and individually wrapped Snickers bars are much appreciated. The city of Albuquerque had a brilliant idea by welcoming the autumn with booze-soaked festivities that, if not for the alcohol, would have been perfectly appropriate for children. The trouble is that intoxicated adults need a sober adult to be the voice of reason every bit as much as children do, or else it is practically inevitable that someone will get hurt.  Party hosts, individual and corporate, are legally responsible for preventable injuries you suffered when you were a guest at someone else’s bacchanal; contact a Santa Fe slip-and-fall and premises liability lawyer.

Adult Halloween Party Takes a Gruesome Turn

In the fall of 2016, the BioPark in Albuquerque hosted an event called Beastly Bash. Given its location at a zoo, the event was less Oktoberfest and more of a children’s Halloween party for adults. The event was only open to guests ages 21 and up, and the promotional materials advertised it as an alcohol-centered event.

A zoo full of drunken adults riding amusement park rides built for children is as dangerous as it sounds, and it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt. Maureen Healy attended the event and, like almost everyone else present, consumed multiple alcoholic beverages. At one point, the alcohol inspired her to ride the Spinning Bird’s Nest, a spinning teacup ride which, if not for the differences in their decorations, would be a lot like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party ride at the Disney theme parks. The weight of the riders causes the cups to spin faster, so an adult riding in a teacup causes it to spin much faster than a child rider would. Certainly, the organizers of the event should have thought of this. Despite this, the event staff encouraged Healy to ride.  Eventually, her teacup spun so fast that it ejected her. Cellphone footage shows her flying out of the teacup and hitting her head. Her injury required stitches, and a year after the accident, she was still suffering impairments in memory and concentration. Healy sued the City of Albuquerque in 2018, and the city eventually paid her a $60,000 settlement.

Contact Slate Stern About Premises Liability Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in preventable accidents at events hosted by the city, such as events at zoos. Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.

Photo by Sally K on Unsplash