Kansas Waterpark Owner, Others Face Murder Charges in Boy's Waterslide Death | Law Firm Newswire

Kansas Waterpark Owner, Others Face Murder Charges in Boy’s Waterslide Death

Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 25, 2018 – A waterpark co-owner and the designer of the world’s tallest waterslide were charged with reckless second-degree murder after a 10-year-old boy died on the ride.

A Kansas grand jury indicted the park, the company that constructed the waterslide, the former head of park operations, the ride’s co-designer and the waterpark’s co-owner. Henry & Sons Construction Co. built the giant waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts in Kansas City, Kansas. It opened in July 2014, just 20 months from its conception.

“When companies choose to ignore basic safety measures and design standards, it can have tragic consequences,” said Paul Greenberg, a personal injury attorney with the Chicago firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, who is not involved in the case. “Based on the indictment, it appears that Schlitterbahn Waterparks and those responsible for the slide were deliberate in their failure to exercise due care in the construction and operation of the ride.”

Waterpark co-owner Jeffrey Wayne Henry and waterslide co-designer John Timothy Schooley could face between nine to 41 years in prison if convicted of murder. They were also charged with aggravated endangerment of a child and aggravated battery, which are among 17 felony counts leveled against them.

Investigators said Henry knew about the potential dangers of the nearly 170-foot-tall waterslide before it opened to the public, calling it a “seriously dangerous piece of equipment.” The indictment alleged Henry and Schooley lacked the engineering expertise required for designing such a complex amusement park ride.

The boy was decapitated after being tossed off a waterslide raft in August 2016. The ride closed after his death. However, at least 13 other riders were injured while it was in operation.

Former waterpark operations director Tyler Austin Miles faces 20 criminal charges including aggravated battery, aggravated endangering of a child and involuntary manslaughter. Authorities said the company ignored “fundamental steps in the design process” and rushed to construct the ride without proper testing in an effort to impress television producers. The slide was featured in an episode of a Travel Channel show.

The indictment charged that the company and individuals involved with the slide failed to meet basic engineering standards and ignored obvious design flaws that could hurt or kill riders by sending them airborne. In addition, Schlitterbahn opened the waterslide to riders of all ages despite weight limit concerns.

The boy’s family received a $20 million settlement in 2017 from the waterpark and other companies involved in the construction of the slide. Two other women who rode in the same raft as the boy were also awarded settlements after they suffered serious injuries. A state agency plans to review Schlitterbahn’s daily inspection records before its scheduled reopening in May.

Briskman Briskman & Greenberg
351 West Hubbard Street, Ste 810
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 312.222.0010
Facebook: Like Us!
Google+ Contact a Chicago personal injury attorney from Briskman Briskman & Greenberg on Google+.

  • Consumer Safety Group Says Recalls For Children’s Unsafe Products Are On The Rise
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at the increase in child product recalls.
  • Man files slip and fall lawsuit against Joliet YMCA
    Slip and fall accidents often result in serious injuries and considerable medical expenses for the victim. In some cases, it may be possible to take legal action in order to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, lost earnings and more. In a recent case, a man sued the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Joliet, ...
  • OSHA cites pallet maker after workers fall sick from carbon monoxide
    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a pallet manufacturer based in Genoa, Illinois, after the company exposed 10 workers to hazardous levels of carbon monoxide. Cleary Pallet Sales Inc. now faces potential penalties of more than $215,000. Department officials investigated the workplace in January this year. They discovered that workers encountered almost 10 ...
  • Illinois driver arrested for DUI after pedestrian death
    A pedestrian was killed after being hit by a car while he was walking near an intersection in Irving, Illinois. The driver was arrested and taken to Montgomery County Jail on aggravated driving under the influence and other charges. Authorities identified the pedestrian as Michael S. Adams, 51, and pronounced him dead at the crash ...
  • Illinois man accuses Red Lobster restaurant of unsafe premises
    A man filed a lawsuit against Red Lobster in Joliet, Illinois after he tripped over a push broom inside the restaurant. He claimed he suffered “severe and permanent injuries” due to the accident. James Pruitt had visited the eatery in May 2016. He allegedly tripped over the broom and fell while following a host who ...

The Chicago Injury Alert Podcast

  • Electric Scooters Must be Used Responsibly
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at a pedestrian accident involving an electric scooter and the rise of e-scooter accidents since its introduction.
  • Trucker Sues For Retaliation in the Workplace
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at a truck driver who is suing his employer, stating he was allegedly fired for pursing a workers’ compensation claim after suffering an injury.
  • Boating Accident Kills Four
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at a fatal boating accident that occurred on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
  • Toxic Exposure Claims in Illinois Extended
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at new legislation signed by Governor Pritzker that allows workers suffering from latent diseases due to toxic substance exposure in the workplace to pursue legal action in civil court.
  • Multiple DUI Charges Laid in Motorcycle Crash
    On this episode of Chicago Injury Alert, we look at a motorcycle crash in St. Charles Township that severely injured a passenger and resulted in four counts of felony driving under the influence for the perpetrator.



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required