Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid - Naperville Personal Injury Lawyer Illinois Personal Injury Law Firm
Free Consultations: 630-848-9294
No Fee Unless You Win | Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day
1730 Park Street, Suite 209, Naperville, IL 60563
630-848-9294

Circus operator fined $24k over tent collapse that killed 2

A weather emergency is a real emergency. That's especially true when you're operating without permanent structures, as responsible fairs and circuses know. If your customers and employees are relying on a tent to protect them, that tent had better be erected correctly and rated for severe weather or you're putting them directly in harm's way.

Last August, a company called Walker International Events was hosting a traveling circus in another state when a severe weather warning and a high wind warning were announced. Walker ignored those warnings. 

Just after the crowd of 100 settled in, a 75 mph wind gust whipped through the fairgrounds and toppled the circus tent. Fifty people were injured. A 41-year-old man and his 6-year-old daughter were killed.

Because employees were affected, OSHA initiated an investigation into the event. It found that the company did not set up the tent correctly -- it didn't use the correct tent stakes for the situation, anchor them properly, or replace damaged ones. In addition, inappropriate electrical equipment was being used in wet areas and there were no fire extinguishers on hand even though employees were working with open flames.

The agency proposed fining Walker $33,000 for these safety and health violations, but the company appealed and was able to have that reduced to $24,000.

That $9,000 discount is unlikely to make much of a difference, however, as Walker International Events is now out of business. If it wishes to start up again, it will have to file a comprehensive safety and health plan with OSHA.

"While nothing can undo the tragedy in Lancaster, this settlement does seek to prevent future such occurrences," said a spokesperson for OSHA. "This case serves as a reminder to employers everywhere that severe weather can present significant safety and health hazards to their employees, and that they must take adequate precautions to address those hazards."

Walker also faced seven lawsuits in addition to the fine by OSHA, including a wrongful death suit brought by the bereft wife and mother. A proposed agreement on the cases still pending has been filed with the court.

Finally, Walker has been charged with a felony for operating without a license, along with other violations. The company has pleaded not guilty.

When people are injured due to unsafe conditions on another party's property, they are urged to seek compensation for their injuries and losses under the law of premises liability. OSHA fines and criminal charges are helpful deterrents for bad behavior, but they can't help with your medical bills, trauma and loss. Premises liability law allows you to hold negligent actors financially accountable for the full harm they cause.

What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....-Jeff D.

  • "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....- Dave

  • "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.-Jennifer

  • "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day...-Larry

  • "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.- Tyler D.

  • "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.- Karen K.

  • "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends.-Dan H.

Related Blog Posts

  • Dec 05

    Injuries people often suffer in electric scooter accidents

    Electric scooters are a fun mode of transportation that is growing in popularity, especially in tourism and in cities where cheap transportation is in demand. Riding on one of these scooters may seem risk-free, but in reality, it can come...

    Read More
  • Nov 27

    Motor vehicle accidents: 2 injured after semi runs red light

    Drivers who fail to adhere to a traffic light upon approaching an intersection run a greater risk of creating a dangerous scenario. Motor vehicle accidents involving similar circumstances could leave those involved with life-altering injuries or leave family members grieving...

    Read More
  • Nov 22

    Mathys & Schneid Voted Best Lawyers In Nationwide Review

    We are pleased to announce that the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid has been selected as one of the best car accident firms in Naperville for 2019. In total, 54 firms were evaluated and the attorneys at our firm...

    Read More

Take Action Now! No Fees Unless You Win!

We’ll review your case at No Cost to You. And, you don’t pay any fees unless we win your case. Contact us today.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day No Fees Unless You Win - Call 630-848-9294