North Carolina “Shoot Out” Injury: Theme Park Cited for Safety Violations

Generally, when we think about workers’ compensation claims, we turn to notoriously dangerous work environments: construction sites, factories, farms, manufacturing facilities, and ships are usually considered the most common sites of workplace accident and injury. Remember that any injury sustained while in the course of performing work-related duties could entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits. In addition to these dangerous work environments, other workers in healthcare, business, and hospitality can also be exposed to workplace injury. In a North Carolina case earlier this month, an actor was shot and the theme park employer was cited for safety violations.


The owner of a North Carolina theme park has been cited for workplace safety violations after gunfire in a theatrical show lead to the actual shooting of a performer. This case sheds light on the diverse nature of workers’ compensation claims. Our Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping workers collect compensation after an accident. We will take the time to review your case, help collect documentation of any injuries and aggressively pursue the full compensation you are entitled to. In addition to helping victims recover compensation, we are committed to raising workplace safety awareness to prevent future accidents and injuries.

A local amusement park known as “Ghost Town in the Sky” regularly performed a “Wild West” shootout performance as part of its daily act and entertainment. For years, the performance was a main attraction for residents North Carolina and tourists throughout the region. Last July, one of their veteran performers was wounded when another performer fired a gun that was supposed to be loaded with blanks. The actor was hit and injured by the gunfire.

According to police reports, investigators could not determine whether the actor was struck by a bullet or by another kind of projectile. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits entitled to the injured worker, the North Carolina Department of Labor fined the owner of the park $2,000. The state agency has found that the park did not offer a workplace “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” In addition to the financial penalty, the citation also requires that the theme park fix any problems related to the gun misfire. Performance guns can be modified to be fired only by pulling and releasing the hammer. According to the North Carolina Department of Labor, the guns should have been altered so that they could only fire blanks.

The citation was issued earlier in December; however, the park owner has 15 days in which a dispute for the claim can be filed. He can also opt to pay fines or request a meeting with investigators. According to reports, the owner has requested a meeting with investigators and is likely to dispute the citation. Police continue to investigate the accident as a separate case. As with any work-related injury, there may be third-party claims available to victims. In this case, the performer is also pursuing a personal injury claim to recover personal property. He also contends that the guns were tampered with, resulting in the shooting and injury.

Contact our Carolina worker’s compensation attorneys today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Asbestos Dangers a Hidden Threat for Carolina Workers
, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 25, 2013

Workers at Risk of Hearing Loss in Carolinas, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, November 19, 2013

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