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Florida amusement park will ‘absolutely’ be held liable in incident that killed teenager: Former US attorney

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A former United States attorney and personal injury lawyer says that the Orlando, Florida amusement park will “absolutely” be held liable in an incident that resulted in the death of a 14-year-old boy.

Tyre Sampson, 14, fell off of the FreeFall ride at Orlando’s ICON Park on Thursday night. The ride is 430-fee-tall, according to the attraction. 

Video footage of the incident show the FreeFall ride moments before the 14-year-old fell to his death.

Sampson was taken to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Authorities reportedly said that the 911 call was placed just before 11:15 p.m. E.T.

FLORIDA AMUSEMENT PARK VISITORS IN SHOCK AFTER SEEING TEENAGER FALL OFF RIDE: ‘DID YOU CHECK HIM?’

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park's rides.

Amusement park visitors were in shock after seeing a teenage boy die after falling off of one of the park’s rides.
(Fox 35)

The family of Sampson has retained civil rights lawyer Ben Crump and personal injury attorney Bob Hilliard to represent them, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Personal injury lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Neama Rahmani told Fox News Digital that ICON Park will “absolutely” be held liable in the incident which led to Sampson’s death.

“Absolutely, they’re going to be held liable. No Question,” Rahmani said.

Rahmani said that the amusement park has a responsibility to keep their rides safe, and added that this case deals with a minor.

“Not only do they have a duty to make sure that the rides are safe, you’re talking about a minor, right?,” Rahmani said. “They have an absolute responsibility to make sure that their rides are safe. I mean, minors are riding that.”

He added that the only argument that the park can give would be the assumption of risk by going on the ride, which he said is a “weak argument.”

“The only possible defense would be some sort of contributory negligence or comparative negligence and assumption of the risk that this child knew the seatbelt was unsafe and chose to ride anyway. It’s a very weak argument, and it could easily inflame a jury. You’re talking about a child, right?,” Rahmani said.

TEENAGER FALLS TO DEATH FROM FLORIDA AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

“It’s a weak argument, but it’s really the only argument, the only possible defense here. I don’t think it’s a good one,” Rahmani said.

Rahmani said that in a personal injury claim, liability, damages, and coverage are looked at. All of these elements are met, he says.

“Liability is crystal clear, in my opinion. Damages are through the roof, I mean, what’s worse than losing a child under these circumstances and watching it happen, and have the whole world circulate videos of his death. And then coverage, obviously theme parks have a lot of coverage and assets. It’s a very, very strong personal injury claim,” Rahmani said.

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 

Tourists enjoy the rides and amenities at ICON Park in Orlando on Thursday, March 24, 2022. 
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

FLORIDA’S ICON PARK: WHAT TO KNOW

Since the Orlando FreeFall is operated by the Slingshot group, and located at ICON Park, Rahmani says that they both could be on the hook for what took place.

ICON Park tweeted a statement, which says it is cooperating with law enforcement and grieving the tragedy.

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In a statement, the SlingShot Group, which operates the Orlando FreeFall, said that it will cooperate with the investigation and expressed its deepest sympathy to family and friends of Sampson.

“We are heartbroken with the incident that took the life of one of our guests. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and ride officials on a full investigation. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed until further notice,” the statement reads.

Fox News has reached out to ICON Park and SlingShot Group.

Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report



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As internet goes dark in Iran, activists fear what comes next

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When Iranian authorities pulled the plug on the internet in 2019 amid anti-government protests, the international community struggled to track the civilian carnage that followed.



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Elijah McClain’s death attributed to ketamine administrated by paramedics

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Elijah McClain died after being administrated ketamine while forcibly detained, according to a recently published autopsy report.

Denver District Court Chief Judge Christopher Baumann ordered Thursday that McClain’s autopsy report be published unredacted for the public. 

The report was published Friday afternoon. According to the coroner, McClain’s 2019 cause of death was an overdose of ketamine administered by paramedics.

“Simply put, this dosage of ketamine was too much for this individual, and it resulted in an overdose, even though his blood ketamine level was consistent with a ‘therapeutic’ blood concentration,” said coroner Dr. Stephen Cina.

ELIJAH MCCLAIN DEATH: COLORADO GRAND JURY INDICTS 3 POLICE OFFICERS, 2 PARAMEDICS 

FILE - A makeshift memorial stands at a site across the street from where Elijah McClain was stopped by Aurora, Colo., Police Department officers while walking home, before family members hold a news conference, Friday, July 3, 2020, in Aurora, Colo. Three Aurora Police Department officers have left the force after photographs surfaced of them reenacting the chokehold used on McClain across the road from the memorial, which sits in the shadow of Interstate 225. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE – A makeshift memorial stands at a site across the street from where Elijah McClain was stopped by Aurora, Colo., Police Department officers while walking home, before family members hold a news conference, Friday, July 3, 2020, in Aurora, Colo. Three Aurora Police Department officers have left the force after photographs surfaced of them reenacting the chokehold used on McClain across the road from the memorial, which sits in the shadow of Interstate 225. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
( (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File))

“I believe that Mr. McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” Cina added.

In September, a Colorado grand jury indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, a black man who was put in a chokehold and injected with a powerful sedative two years ago in suburban Denver. 

Aurora police stopped McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, as he walked home from a store on Aug. 24, 2019, after a 911 caller reported a man wearing a ski mask and waving his hands who seemed “sketchy.” 

AURORA, CO - JUNE 27: Elijah McClain protesters close to the Aurora place line at the Aurora Municipal Center June 27, 2020. Elijah McClain died August 30, 2019 several days after a struggle with Aurora police. Elijah became unconscious during the encounter with police August 24, 2019 and had a heart attack while being transported to a hospital. McClain died after being taken off life support. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)"n"n

AURORA, CO – JUNE 27: Elijah McClain protesters close to the Aurora place line at the Aurora Municipal Center June 27, 2020. Elijah McClain died August 30, 2019 several days after a struggle with Aurora police. Elijah became unconscious during the encounter with police August 24, 2019 and had a heart attack while being transported to a hospital. McClain died after being taken off life support. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)”n”n
( (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)”n”n)

Officers put McClain in a chokehold and pinned him down. 

Paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine, an amount appropriate for someone 77 pounds heavier than McClain’s 143-pound frame, according to the indictment. He fell unconscious, was pronounced brain-dead at a hospital, and was taken off life support.

AURORA POLICE IN COLORADO QUESTIONED ON USE OF FORCE DURING ELIJAH MCCLAIN PROTEST: REPORT

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 28: A view of BEAR THE TRUTH Protest: A Pop-Up Art Curation of Teddy Bears for Children and Families in honor of #BlackLivesMatter at Los Angeles City Hall on June 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 28: A view of BEAR THE TRUTH Protest: A Pop-Up Art Curation of Teddy Bears for Children and Families in honor of #BlackLivesMatter at Los Angeles City Hall on June 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
((Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images))

The city of Aurora has released bodycam footage and the 911 call that preceded the incident.

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In portions of it, McClain, in a sobbing voice, denies having done anything wrong. He tells officers he’s “just different” and can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe, please stop.”

“When we showed up, he was wearing a ski mask,” someone can be heard saying.



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Road World Championships: Injured Annemiek van Vleuten wins in 'stunning' finale

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Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten wins women’s road race gold despite a fractured elbow at the Road World Championships in Australia.



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