LIMA — A Lima man has filed a civil lawsuit against the Allen County fair board and an Indiana-based amusement company on behalf of his daughter, seeking compensation for injuries she sustained on a midway ride at the 2018 edition of the Allen County Fair.
Kylie Richards, who was 10 years old at the time of the incident, ended up as a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus after exiting the Orbiter ride at the fair. Doctors determined the girl had suffered a spinal stroke, an injury they compared to whiplash.
The suit filed in Allen County Common Pleas Court by her father, Keith Richards, alleges negligence on the part of the amusement company and the fair board for allowing his daughter to board the ride in the first place.
The suit seeks judgment in excess of $25,000 individually and/or jointly and severally on each of two counts contained in the filing.
Count 1 alleges negligence on the part of Poor Jack Inc., which operated the amusement rides at the 2018 fair under the name Poor Jack Amusements.
The suit names as defendants John Does 1 through 10, described as “owners, operators, employees and/or agents” of Poor Jack Inc. and the Allen County Agricultural Society whose true names were not known at the time of filing the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that on Aug. 19, 2018, Kylie Richards, a minor, was permitted by the defendants to ride the Orbiter in a car by herself as an “exceptionally-sized person.” Richards subsequently suffered “catastrophic, severe and permanent personal injuries” which resulted in “health care expenses, a diminished capacity to earn income, emotional distress and anxiety and other losses and damages,” the lawsuit alleges.
The ride company is at fault, the suit claims, for permitting the girl to board the Orbiter “without adequately assessing and determining her suitability” to do so safely.
Count 2, which contains a demand for compensation for medical bills and filial consortium, makes the same claims as are contained in Count 1 and asks for a settlement, to be determined at a jury trial, in excess of $25,000.
A pre-trial hearing was held last week, with another such hearing scheduled for March 11. A jury trial has been set for April 5 before Judge Terri Kohlrieser.