The Easler family resolved their suit for Benji's death for
Benji's father, the Rev.
"We're still living with it every day, as all these families are," Easler said.
One of the injured was 2 years old.
"We just pray that good will come of this, and we pray that other people will be spared the suffering that you saw in this (courtroom) today," Easler said.
As part of the proceedings,
The plaintiffs agreed that Conrad continued to increase speed on the third and final lap, reaching speeds of more than 20 miles per hour going into the final curve before losing control of the train.
It was "numbing" for Easler to hear dollar amounts assigned to those who suffered as a result of the crash.
One boy thrown from the train had swelling of the brain, various cuts that required stitches, a large laceration to a thigh that required a great deal of treatment and several surgeries. His family's attorney told Hayes that his medical bills were about
One girl's legs were injured -- with one requiring surgery after the femur shifted. The medical bills totaled around
A boy -- 3 years old at the time and found on a rock after being thrown from the train -- suffered a lacerated spleen among several other injuries. He was hospitalized four days. His family settled for
According to testimony,
Miller's other son, 4 at the time, suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was found lying in the water beneath the track after he was "catapulted" from the train. He underwent multiple procedures and suffered hearing lost. He also was hospitalized for a month. Their medical expenses were
Smith, whose firm represented the family, said attorneys negotiated a medical lien of
Each boy received about
After the court proceeding, Smith told reporters that a court ruling in
A resolution to transfer
It was introduced again in
Smith said families did not get what they deserved in compensation.
Both the plaintiffs and defense understood legal problems and limitations, Smith said, and claimants were "very reasonable given the limitations that we had, but we all understand that there's some things that need to be changed."
Easler said, "This was the only recourse we had left to deal with this case."
The pastor hopes other government bodies take the train derailment seriously and ensure proper inspection procedures are followed and that amusement park operators are trained.
The Easlers spearheaded the law named for their late son. Benji's Law requires that miniature trains have working speedometers and devices that limit speed to the manufacturer's recommendation or less. It also requires documented training for drivers and mechanical inspections of trains that include a speed test.
Benji's Law unanimously passed the state
Easler hopes state and county governments will re-examine how they "insure their industries" and train employees to prevent other accidents in the future. Smith agreed.
"Hopefully new policies and procedures will not only be implemented, but they will be enforced and that's the most important thing -- making sure this never happens again," Smith said.
In a statement released Friday afternoon,
"As we move forward with our desire to rebuild
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