DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The family of an 11-year old boy who died on a water ride at an Iowa amusement park a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court Thursday, alleging the park failed to properly maintain and repair its rides.
David and Sabrina Jaramillo, of Cedar Rapids and three of their children David Jaramillo Jr., August Jaramillo and Nyla Pettie filed the lawsuit against Aventureland Park in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona.
They and 11-year old Michael Jaramillo were on the Raging River ride at the park on July 3, 2021, when the raft carrying all six family members flipped, trapping them beneath the water .
Michael Jaramillo drowned and other family members were injured.
The lawsuit alleges Adventureland failed for years to properly maintain and repair its rides, including the Raging River. The lawsuit claims the park continued to operate on the day of the accident despite reports of serious problems.
They seek unspecified monetary damages for negligence against the company that owned the park, Adventure Lands of America, its former CEO Michael Krantz and three managers.
Krantz is a member of the local family that owned the company that operated Adventureland since the 1970s. They sold the park and other affiliated assets late last year to Palace Entertainment, a subsidiary of Parques Reunidos, an international amusement park company based in Spain.
Court documents say Adventure Land is vicariously responsible for the actions of the men.
“All actions or failures to act by the stated officers and managers occurred during their employment by Adventure Land, and within the scope of their employment,” it says.
Guy R. Cook, the lawyer representing the defendants, said safety has always been the top priority for the amusement park.
“Sadly, the tragic accident was the result of a number of extraordinarily unusual factors coming together. The claims of lawsuit will be specifically addressed in future court filings,” he said.