The family of a Kansas boy who was killed on a waterslide has reached a settlement with the owner of the water park and the manufacturer of the raft that the child was riding when the incident occurred.
That’s according to the Kansas City Star, which reported that the family of 10-year-old Caleb Schwab filed a petition earlier this week in Johnson County District Court, which asked for a wrongful-death settlement to be approved. The newspaper reported that the civil settlement was with the “owners and operators of the park” as well as the raft manufacturer.
The Star reported that there was a short hearing on the matter, but the settlement was approved Wednesday by District Judge Thomas Sutherland. According to the newspaper, details of the settlement weren’t available in records.
“The Schwab family remains determined to hold all those responsible for this tragedy accountable, while doing all they can to ensure this never happens again to another family,” the family’s attorneys said in a statement emailed to The Washington Post.
The statement said that the family had settled with the “two local Schlitterbahn entities and the manufacturer of the raft in which Caleb was riding at the time of the incident.”
Caleb Schwab died in August 2016 while he was riding the Verrückt waterslide, which was billed as the world’s tallest. The slide at Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan., was 17 stories, and got its name from the German word for insane.
The Star reported that three people were aboard the raft at the time of Caleb’s death, with Caleb sitting in the front seat. Caleb suffered a “fatal neck injury,” police told the Star. Two other women suffered facial injuries.
An attorney for the owners and operators of Schlitterbahn told the Star that he couldn’t comment on this week’s settlement. And an attorney for the manufacturer of the raft Caleb was riding at the time of his death also did not comment for the newspaper, saying he was declining “out of respect for the Schwab family and the other attorneys involved.”
The Star also reported:
Wednesday’s agreement allows the Schwab family to pursue claims against other “potentially culpable and liable parties,” according to the settlement petition.
That could include any possible claims against the designer and builder of the slide.
“Additional claims are being pursued against others that were not subject to today’s approved settlements,” the statement from the Schwab family’s attorney noted. “In the near future we will be allowed to disclose further specifics regarding the settlement.”
Schlitterbahn has announced that the ride Caleb was killed on will be torn down.
“Once the investigation is concluded and we are given permission by the court, Verrückt will be decommissioned — closed permanently and the slide removed from the tower,” the park said in a statement. “In our opinion, it is the only proper course of action following this tragedy.”
Caleb Schwab was the son of Scott Schwab, a state lawmaker in Kansas. He was at the park for Elected Official Day when the incident occurred. The state representative this month delivered an emotional speech, reminding his colleagues that there are worse things than the failure of a proposed bill.
“When your bill dies, or your amendment fails … let it go,” he said, according to the Star. “Life isn’t worth wasting too much emotional energy on such things. I just want you to know, it could get worse.”