The death of 46-year-old Brian Greenhouse, who plummeted from the Hi-Miler roller coaster on closing night of the rodeo last Sunday, is the centerpiece of a lawsuit filed late yesterday in Harris County court. The wrongful death lawsuit, filed on behalf of Greenhouse's mother, father and son, asks the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and Ray Cammack Shows (RCS) for unspecified damages.
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The suit accuses both parties of several wrongdoings. According to the petition, both companies failed to instruct Greenhouse "regarding the safe manner in which to ride the Hi-Miler" and how to "secure any available restraint device." The suit also says that Greenhouse wasn't adequately warned of the "unreasonably dangerous risks" associated with the roller coaster. Precautionary measures aside, the suit says the coaster itself wasn't safe and the employees weren't trained properly.
"Our preliminary reports from the investigation are that it is possible for that bar to malfunction," attorney Tony Denena told Hair Balls. Denena, along with the other two attorneys representing the family in the suit, have launched their own investigation testing the Hi-Miler. Denena declined to offer specific details about the evidence, saying he wanted to wait for the discovery process.
He did say that the front coaster car Greenhouse was probably riding has had a history of problems. In 2009, Denena said, a woman and her child almost fell out of the Hi-Miler when their lap bar restraint popped open. He claims both RCS and the Rodeo were told about this incident.
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has gone quiet since the lawsuit emerged, and offered only this statement: "Because of these ongoing investigations and because litigation has been initiated against Ray Cammack Shows and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, show officials have been advised by their legal counsel to make no further comments involving the accident, results of the investigations or lawsuits until such time as all investigations have been completed and until lawsuits have come to conclusion, or until further advised by legal counsel."