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Parents of girl killed on Ferris wheel consider wrongful death suit

The parents of an 11-year-old girl who died after falling from a New Jersey Ferris wheel have retained the services of an attorney and are contemplating a wrongful death lawsuit, according to statements made at a news conference earlier this week.

The tragic accident occurred on June 3, when the young girl was on a class trip to Morey's Piers. She earned her spot on the trip as a reward for being on the school's honor roll. During the class outing, the girl decided to ride the Wildwood Ferris wheel by herself.

As the girl reached the uppermost point of the ride, she suddenly fell from the Ferris wheel gondola. At that height, she was estimated to be nearly 160 feet off the ground. She landed on a metal platform at the base of the ride, and was killed on impact.

A report from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs recently released a report in which it suggested that the girl may have been kneeling or standing on the Ferris wheel seat when she fell. However, that report is not conclusive, and investigators are still looking for eyewitnesses to the fatal accident in order to pinpoint the reason for the fall.

The state also recommended that rides reaching high elevations, such as Ferris wheels, require two riders per vehicle. While the girl's parents are happy with that development, they plan to urge state lawmakers to require safety restraints on such rides.

In addition, the parents have retained a team of attorneys, indicating that they may file a wrongful death lawsuit against Morey's Piers. If so, we will continue to update our blog on the progress of that suit.

If a family member has been injured or killed as a result of someone else's negligence, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "Parents in Ferris wheel death have lawyers on case," James Osborne, 15 June 2011

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