DES MOINES, Iowa — The family of an 11-year-old boy who died on a water ride at an Iowa amusement park a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court Thursday. , alleging that the park failed to properly maintain and repair its rides.
David and Sabrina Jaramillo, of Cedar Rapids and three of their children David Jaramillo Jr., August Jaramillo and Nyla Pettie filed a lawsuit against Aventureland Park in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona.
They and 11-year-old Michael Jaramillo were on the Raging River ride at the park on July 3, 2021, when the raft carrying the six family members overturned, trapping them underwater.
Michael Jaramillo drowned and other family members were injured.
The lawsuit alleges Adventureland failed for years to properly maintain and repair its rides, including the Raging River. The lawsuit claims the park continued to operate on the day of the accident despite reports of serious problems.
They are seeking unspecified damages for negligence against the park’s owning company, Adventure Lands of America, its former CEO Michael Krantz and three managers.
Krantz is a member of the local family who owned the company that had operated Adventureland since the 1970s. They sold the park and other affiliated assets late last year to Palace Entertainment, a subsidiary of Parques Reunidos, a international amusement park company based in Spain.
Court documents say Adventure Land is vicariously liable for the men’s actions.
“All actions or omissions to act by the stated officers and officials occurred during their employment with Adventure Land and in the course of their employment,” it says.
Guy R. Cook, the attorney representing the defendants, said safety has always been the amusement park’s top priority.
“Unfortunately, the tragic accident was the result of a number of extraordinarily unusual factors coming together. The lawsuit claims will specifically be addressed in future court filings,” he said.