Hackemer's family files wrongful death suit against Darien Lake Theme Park
Submitted by Howard Owens on July 30, 2011 - 7:18pm
The family of Sgt. James Hackemer, the Iraq war veteran killed July 8 when he was ejected from the Ride of Steel at Darien Lake Theme Park has filed a wrongful death suit against the two companies responsible for the amusement park.
From the Buffalo News:
According to family attorney Denis J. Bastible, park employees violated Darien Lake’s own safety rules when they allowed the double amputee to ride the coaster.
“They didn’t train their employees to follow the rules and the result was tragic,” Bastible told the Buffalo News. “[Hackemer] leaves two very young children behind, and his family is doing terribly.”
Two weeks after the accident, state Labor Department investigators cited “operator error” as a factor in the death. Labor Department officials cited the amusement park for two violations, saying ride operators were improperly trained on safety requirements for the ride.
Named in the suit were CNL Income Darien Lake LLC, a real estate firm based in Dallas, owner of the park's land, and Herschend Family Entertainment, which manages the park.
According to the news article, Bastible is not concerned by remarks made by family members immediately following Hackemer's death saying they didn't hold Darien Lake accountable in the accident. Bastible said the remarks were made in the heat of the moment and the family gave thoughtful consideration to the decision to file a lawsuit.