The family of a 10-year-old boy is asking for $2.5 million in a lawsuit over injuries the child sustained in a Dublin waterslide accident in May 2017. Although the parents originally filed a $25,000 claim against the city, they are now naming the city, the state of California, the Wave Water Park, and the waterslide manufacturer as plaintiffs in a larger suit, citing negligence and emotional distress.
Mother Susanna Jones and her son expected a day of fun and leisure when they showed up for the opening day of Dublin’s new city water park. A mere 90 minutes into the park’s launch, the experience quickly turned frightening as the boy flew off the side of the Emerald Plunge waterslide and skidded onto the concrete. Jones says she took her son to the park’s first aid station, which wasn’t adequately equipped to deal with the boy’s injuries.
Emerald Plunge is a three-story waterslide with an 80-degree decline that flattens out toward the ground. Footage of the incident shows the boy toppling over the edge near the bottom of the slide, and the family released photos of scrapes and bruises on his arms, legs, and back. The lawsuit alleges that the sides of the waterslide were poorly designed and the city failed to provide proper protection for children. It also questions whether regulators misjudged the appropriate height requirements for riders using the slide.
According to reports, city officials immediately closed Emerald Plunge and another waterslide while working with the manufacturer to test the rides and make sure they are safe for children. Jones is hoping to hold the state and manufacturer accountable, as regulators from both organizations were responsible for testing and approving the waterslide before the park opened.
For now, the matter remains unresolved as both sides offer up conflicting stories. According to the family’s lawyer, the city never responded to the $25,000 lawsuit, prompting the boy’s parents to file a new claim. On the other hand, the city issued a public statement claiming the family did not submit information to support the claim and bring the incident to an end. For the family, the most important thing is to compel the city and state to improve the regulation of city water parks, so other children feel safe playing in public facilities.