A teenage girl has agreed to an out of court settlement of her claim for gynaecological injuries that were caused by a water jet at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
In October 2009, Shelby Clarke and her family were enjoying a day trip to Blackpool from their home in Manchester. When the family arrived in Blackpool, they headed to Blackpool Pleasure Beach where Shelby (who was fourteen years old at the time) and her friend Sarah spotted the park´s newest attraction – “The Spectacular Dancing Water Fountain”,
The two girls ran across to the attraction – which shot water 200 feet into the air – and joined other children playing among the powerful water jets. However, as Shelby ran across the middle water jet, the jet started to operate and a jet of water hit Shelby between the legs. Shelby immediately felt the need to visit the toilet but, when she got there, the area surrounding her vagina was covered in blood.
An ambulance was summoned and Shelby was taken to hospital. She underwent a two-hour operation, during which time 250 stitches were inserted in and around her vagina. Now nineteen years old, Shelby has a limited sex life and fears that she may never be able to give birth to children. There is also a substantial amount of scarring around her vagina which Shelby hopes can be removed one day by cosmetic surgery.
Shelby´s mother – Karen – made a claim for gynaecological injuries caused by a water jet against Blackpool Pleasure beach Limited – alleging that “The Spectacular Dancing Water Fountain” presented a risk of injury to the children playing around the attraction. Blackpool Pleasure Beach Limited acknowledged it liability for her daughter´s injuries and made an undisclosed five-figure offer of settlement that was accepted by the family.
A spokesman for Blackpool Pleasure Beach Limited apologised to Shelby and her family, and told the media that since Shelby´s claim for gynaecological injuries caused by a water jet, new safety measures have been introduced to prevent children running between the water jets while they are in operation. The measures include staff monitoring the perimeter of the attraction and announcements being made immediately before the water jets are about to start operating.