Family of teen who fell to his death on Orlando FreeFall ride files wrongful death lawsuit

One month after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death on Icon Park's FreeFall Ride, more than a half-dozen businesses – from Icon Park operators to the manufacturers of the ride, the harnesses, and the seats – are cited as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday in Orange County. 

"We’ve got to get this information out to the public so they’re informed as to whether these types of rides can be operated safely, and what went wrong here," Attorney Michael Haggard said.

The lawsuit alleges multiple businesses were negligent and/or liable in the teen’s safety and death – and zone’s in on the failure to provide an appropriate restraint system to protect passengers.

"Had they put seatbelts in these seats, this would have never occurred, and that would have been paid for by two cycles of the ride, and this would have never happened to Tyre," he said.

Last week, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released a report confirming operator error likely played a role in the 14-year-old's death.

The maximum passenger weight for the ride is 287 pounds. Sampson's family said he weighed 340 pounds. The report shows an operator manually adjusted Tyre’s harness restraint – leaving a wider gap than what’s allowed.

"Adjusted these seats – added no safety measures," he said. "A simple seatbelt would have absolutely prevented this incident from occurring."

The lawsuit said a reasonable manufacturer would have "installed a monitoring system visible to the operator to ensure all riders restraints were properly secured… and installed a mechanism to stop operation of the ride if a rider’s restraint was not properly secured."

Haggard said the family is hoping their son’s death can enact change.

"So that we not only can get to the bottom of what happened to Tyre, but then we can take that to federal regulators and congress who can try to get some legislation so this never happens."

The family is seeking an unknown amount in damages, and requested a jury trial.