A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson Circuit Court against the Louisville Zoo. The suit arises out of the derailment of a zoo train on June 1st that resulted in a number of injuries. Indiana resident Darren Bamforth and his wife, Amy, and their two-year-old son filed the lawsuit over the derailment that sent 22 people to the hospital. It was alleged in the complaint that the zoo was “grossly negligent” in its maintenance and operation of the train.
The Bamforths allege that they were sitting in the middle of the train with their son and other family members when the female driver approached them and appeared to be “flustered.” The train’s driver was 18 – the minimum age required by state law for those operating such rides – and inexperienced. It was further alleged that the train began accelerating into the tunnel and continued to gain speed before the train tipped over and overturned.
The train derailed as it made a turn behind the zoo’s popular Gorilla Forest exhibit. The engine and cars, containing about 30 passengers on board, flipped on their sides. Seventeen children were taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital. All but two were treated and released on the day of the incident. Five adults were taken to University Hospital, where three received treatment for several days. The crash is under investigation by the state Department of Agriculture, which oversees amusement rides. During the investigation, the state has ordered that the train be shut down.
The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages, as well as a temporary court injunction preventing the zoo from altering or destroying the train or any photographs, videos, reports or statements taken after the derailment. The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.
Source: Courier Journal
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