About Me

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I am a consultant and general counsel to International Ride Training LLC as well as a practicing attorney in Avon, Connecticut. A particular focus of mine is the legal needs of the amusement and tourism industry. My focus on the amusement industry derives from my pre-law career as an operations manager with Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Universal Orlando. Having started my career as a ride operator at Cedar Point in 1992, I progressed through the seasonal ranks and ultimately became the Manager of Ride Operations and Park Services at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. I also worked in Universal's operations department during the construction and development of Islands of Adventure. Today, I am an active member of the New England Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions and the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions. I have been invited to speak at amusement industry meetings and seminars and have worked on a variety of matters relating to this industry.

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This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice (or any legal advice). By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher and / or author nor can such a relationship be created by use of his Blog / Web Site. By using thisBlog / Web Site you understand that any statement on the blog site are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Wiggin and Dana LLP or International Ride Training LLC. By using this blog site you understand that the Blog/Web Site is not affiliated with or approved by Wiggin and Dana LLP or International Ride Training LLC. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. This blog is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes. Regardless, the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Response To Consumers Digest's Waterslide Safety Report (Part 1): The Numbers Don't Lie

A story was published today in Consumers Digest entitled “Waterparks:  Is Public Safety Going Down the Tubes” that paints an extremely unflattering and misleading picture of the safety of the waterpark industry as a whole.  Authored by Sara Bongiorni, the piece makes a number of disturbing assertions to suggest that injuries at waterparks in the United States are increasing at an alarming rate and that the best solution to countering this trend is federal regulation of the fixed site amusement industry.  The piece takes great issue with the so-called “patchwork” of state regulations governing the amusement industry and even goes so far as to portray the industry as expending hundreds of thousands of dollars per year specifically to avoid federal regulation.  I’ve seen other pieces like this – usually in the wake of a tragic accident at a park or carnival.  Rarely, though, have I seen a piece that goes to the extent that this piece does in mis-characterizing the facts and ignoring gaping holes in the logic and reasoning underlying its conclusions.  I thus feel compelled to address some of the more troubling aspects of Ms. Bongiorni’s piece.  The article though is rather lengthy, so I thought the best way to address it was in two parts.  Today, I’ll discuss the problems with Ms. Bongiorni’s injury statistics, and how they were manipulated to paint a far direr picture than exists in reality.  In Part 2, I’ll address her contention that federal regulation is the answer to all the industry’s problems.