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Lawsuit Filed In Philadelphia Over Girl’s Ferris Wheel Death At NJ Shore

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last month’s death of a Pleasantville, NJ girl in a plunge from atop a 156-foot-high ferris wheel along the Wildwood boardwalk (see related story) has resulted in a civil suit, filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court.

The parents of 11-year-old Abiah Jones consulted with one set of lawyers shortly after the accident at Mariner’s Landing (see previous story), but went with another firm to file the wrongful death suit.

“We believe and understand that Morey’s was planning to put restraint systems on this ferris wheel, yet they didn’t. Other ferris wheels around the world have restraint systems,” says attorney Jeffrey Reiff, with the Beasley-Reiff law group, one of three lawyers handling the case.

Although, in the aftermath of the accident, the amusement park’s owner raised height requirements and now prohibits solo riders.

As for filing the suit in Philadelphia, Reiff says Morey’s does a lot of business here and his clients are likely to get a fairer hearing under Pennsylvania law.

A Morey’s Piers spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Nostromo

    The configuration of the ‘amusement’ seems defective and lacking in adequate protection(s) for the unaware. After all it’s not as tumbling out of your seat in a theater.

    I’ll be interested to see what modifications are made to the attraction, if any, in the near term.

  • SJ

    I agree with everyone else. Tons of ferris wheels do NOT have restraints, because people are supposed to have common sense and SIT. Morey cannot help it if they have unruly children riding alone on their ferris wheel. Where were the school chaps? I can’t even believe schools take field trips these days with all the naughty children who have no idea how to follow simple rules.

  • Peter

    The lawyer doesn’t have to be liberal, just greedy

  • Angry Revolutionary

    I am a little confused unless they are suing in FEDERAL COURT in Philadelphia which I am guess is the case. If you are suing across state lines you must sue in Federal Court. Rules of Civil Procedure require you to sue in the county of the Defendant. I can only assume that Morey’s is in Jersey thus the Philly lawsuit.

    This case is just an abuse of the legal system and a waste of time. Morey’s is not responsible for this girl’s death. Even the investigation determined that. The girl was careless and ended up paying for her stupidity. Or should I say “she acted stupidly” as Obleama would say.

    Twenty five years without an accident and now some ambulance chaser will make it so thero are restraints on a ride that is meant to be relaxing. This country ia truly dead in the water. The idea of Common Sense and personal responsibility has been replaced by government dependence and just plain stupidity.

    • Angry Revolutionary

      Updating my own comment. As I ubderstand that law, unless Morey’s has an office in PA / Philadelphia this should be a violation of Morey’s rights. In Civil Litigation the defendant must be sued in the county in which they reside. If the parties are in different states I am 98% sure the suit must be brought in Federal Court.

      • Angry Revolutionary

        If Plaintiff and Defendant are both from Jersey this suit should be filed in Jersey.

    • Peter

      They hope to prove that Morey’s has enough activity in Pennsylvania to provide in personem jurisdiction under the state’s long arm statute. Philadelphia is notorious for large jury awards, so to them it’s worth a gamble. If they get tossed out they can always go back to New Jersey within the statute of limitations because there won’t be any estoppel or res judicta in New Jersey because of being booted out of Pennsylvania for lack of personal jurisdiction

      • Angry Revolutionary

        Thanks Peter, I hadn’t thought of that.

      • Peter

        I meant res judicata, but you all knew that

  • Jo

    Why don’t they sue the school for not providing adequate chaperones?

  • Dan

    From what I hear, they are not suing Morey, they are suing the ride operator because he did not warn her of the danger. What a joke! So, if their daughter got struck by lightning I guess they would take God to court.

    When is it going to stop? People filing law suits for things that are caused by negligence. Accidents do happen that are of nobody’s fault. I wish people would start looking in the mirror before passing blame.

    So, where was the adult who was supose to be with her? Did she have an adult with her? If so, did that person, who was at that time responsible for her since her parents were not there, talk to her before getting on the ride? Hmmmm. If it was my boys getting on that ride, and we have been on that ferris wheel many times, I would would remind them what to and not to do.

    I just hope Morey and the operator stand their ground and not give in. What kind of message would it send if they back down? A law suit frenzy.

  • Somerdale Dave

    Why shouldn’t they get paid? Casey Anthony murdered her daughter and got acquitted. Now she’s got all kinds of deals in the works. She’ll be a millionaire.
    These parents should sue the rich Morey family because they’re rich. Fault is not a factor, redistribution of wealth is. My tongue is firmly implanted in my cheek!

  • Linda

    I thought this had been ruled the fault of the child for not sitting in the seat properly, how can the parents sue???

  • rhbsr

    Once a again people must look to blame someone else for the negligence of their own child. This suit should immediately be dismissed as the Moreys should not be held accountable. It is just another case of why there are warning labels and restrictions on everything we deal with. Every time someone does not know how to act and they get hurt they look to blame someone else and get paid. One of these days these ambulance chasing lawyers will also be held accountable as they cause a backlog on the court system with all of these “blame someone else and get paid lawsuits”. WHAT A DISGRACE THAT THEY RAN TO PHILADELPHIA BECAUSE THEY WOULD GET A LARGER SETTLEMENT. HOPEFULLY ENOUGH PEOPLE FROM THAT AREA HAVE RODE ON FERRIS WHEELS AND THEY THROW THE CASE OUT FOR LACK OF BASIS OR MERIT.

  • m.a.g.

    If your kid dies you should get money.Good times are on the way.

    • Dan

      That just might be the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard. Do yourself a favor and get off the illegal drug you are on.

  • cyberianfox

    Nothing worse than making money off your child’s death! Hold the school responsible…of that’s right can’t get money from them…hmmmm….greedy parents looking for easy street. SHAME ON YOU!

  • TT

    I am totally sadden by this story. However, I heard that she was standing up and leaning over to talk to those above and below her.

    • cyberianfox

      She should have known better! This company SHOULD NOT be responsible for this tragic death.

  • sam e

    another waste of the court system. Trying to get a handout!! I’ve been on hundreds of ferriswheels, and I NEVER fell out.

  • The Investigator

    Let’s be honest here…They filed in Philadelphia because they know they will get a larger settlement from on outside jury. I bet this settles before trial. Good point where were the parents for this trip. I also heard a rumor that she had some sort of medical condition where she may have passed out just prior to the fall…..To be continued!

    • Peter

      So true. And he insurance company won’t have the guts to take this to trial. They will pay off less than they would in an actual case of owner negligence but it will be a large payout nonetheless

  • sue city

    why didnt the parents go on the trip too, she was no baby she should have known to stay in her seat. now all the parents hear is cha ching.

  • Jennifer

    I thought it was someones instinct or common sense to sit in your seat while on any ride at least that is what it was when I was young and road this ride in Wildwood. back in the late 80s

    • CJ

      AMEN!!!!! take some personal responsibility….the death was tragic but what kind of restraint system do they want….5 point NASCAR seat belts?

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