TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The owners of ICON Park and affiliated companies filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit by the family of Tyre Sampson for liabilities leading to his death.
However, the four companies identified as the “Icon Defendants” in the lawsuit filed a motion to dismiss the suit on “technical shortcomings” that needed to be fixed. The motion suggests the plaintiffs file an amended complaint with more details.
Tyre died on March 24, 2022, when he fell out of the Orlando FreeFall ride at ICON Park, which is owned and operated by the SlingShot Group.
An autopsy report found that the teen had fallen around 70 feet and suffered several serious injuries that included a broken arm, a broken leg, a fractured jaw and several fractured ribs.
A report from Quest Engineering released in April said that a harness proximity sensor on Tyre ‘s seat was manually adjusted to allow for a restraint opening of seven inches. A ride safety expert said the 14-year-old should not have even been able to get on the ride since he weighed 380 pounds, exceeding the 287-pound limit.
Had the sensor not been tampered with, Sampson would have not been able to get on the ride since he exceeded its weight limit, according to the report.
Attorneys representing Tyre’s parents, Yarnell Sampson and Nekia Dodd, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against ICON Park, the Slingshot Group, and other associated companies in April.
However, the motion by the defense states that the family’s lawsuit does not allege “necessary ultimate facts” and lumps allegations against Icon Park Liquor License, LLC, IDL Parent, LLC, ID Center (FL) LLC, and I Drive 360 Management Services LLC — all of which are legally separate, though affiliated, companies.
“Plaintiffs should plead each distinct claim in a separate count of the complaint, rather than plead various claims against all of the defendants together,” the motion read.
The motion said that the lawsuit needed to be amended to give each defendant a factual basis on what their claims against each company is before it can go to a jury trial. It also said that the plaintiffs need to establish facts that would make the Icon Defendants liable for the actions of the manufacturer or the Slingshot Group and its associated companies.
According to the motion, the plaintiffs had not established the specific time at which the negligent actions by the Icon Defendants took place, which the defense said did not meet the standards set by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
“For these reasons, the Icon Defendants respectfully request that this Court enter an order granting this motion and requiring Plaintiffs to correct the procedural deficiencies in their Complaint by filing a technically corrected, more clear and detailed Amended Complaint or, at a minimum, a more definite statement of Plaintiffs’ claims against these Defendants that will provide the Defendants with more information and thereby appropriately advise each of those four entities of the specific nature of the claims asserted against each of them,” the motion states.