A lawsuit filed by a 52-year-old Voorhees man against the operators of a Berlin water park can proceed, pursuant to an opinion by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Roy Steinberg alleges in his complaint that he was seriously injured in 2010 at Sahara Sam’s Oasis, the popular water park in Camden County.
According to his lawyers, Steinberg went to the park with his two children in April, 2010 and attempted to surf, using what was called a “flowboard,” similar to a surfboard. He lost his balance, landing head-first in about three inches of water on the bottom of the pool. He was then washed away by a wave and crashed into the wall of the pool. Medical reports showed that he fractured his spine, leading to partial paralysis in his legs.
Steinberg filed a lawsuit naming Sahara Sam’s and alleging gross negligence. His attorneys say that employees at Sahara Sam’s failed to instruct Steinberg how to use the board safely, and also failed to warn him of the potential risks associated with the flowboard. They say the manufacturer of the product recommended in 2008 that parks using the product include language calling surfing an “extreme sport and high-risk recreational activity” and that they tell potential users “you will fall,” instead of simply suggesting that falling is a possibility. Steinberg’s attorneys say Sahara Sam’s had none of the manufacturer-recommended warnings.
At the trial level and on initial appeal, the courts both ruled that the warnings in place, combined with the park’s liability waiver, were adequate. The New Jersey Supreme Court overruled those opinions in a unanimous decision. The court sent the case back for a new trial.
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