Tyler Jarrell’s mother says proposed settlement for her son’s death is ‘slap in the face’


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A slap in the face—that’s what the mother of the 18-year-old future Marine killed on a ride at the Ohio State Fair last summer had to say about a proposed partial settlement agreement Monday.

The family of Tyler Jarrell is expected to receive $1.27 million from the owners of the Fireball and others. Tyler’s mother Amber Duffield said you can’t put a price on a life.

Jarrell, 18, was killed and seven people injured when the swinging and spinning Fire Ball ride broke apart July 26 on the state fair’s midway. The manufacturer of the ride blamed years of corrosion as the cause of the fatal accident.

Now, eight months to the day later, Jarrell’s family has reached a partial settlement of $1.27 million against Amusements of America, who is the owner of the Fireball ride, and two inspection companies.

A judge still needs to approve the pending agreement. A probate hearing is scheduled for April 18.

Lawyers say the five catastrophic victims are still considering claims against the designer, manufacturer and supplier.

Jarrell would have been a high school senior this year and was set to join the Marine Corps upon graduating in May.

The family’s lawyer, Mark Kitrick, said no amount of money can compensate for their loss.

“It’s not enough. Nothing’s going to be enough to bring back Tyler and what happened to him, it’s not enough for any of the families,” he said.

The partial settlement is between the family and Amusements of America, the owners of the Fireball ride, and two ride inspection companies.

Kitrick said the state, whose inspectors were responsible for looking at and signing off on the ride before the fatal accident, will never pay.

“They are completely protected. They’re immune. We cannot sue them. It’s like a big metal shield around them. We cannot sue them for negligence or gross negligence. They’re completely immune,” he said.

Kitrick said they’re not giving up and will go after others involved in the accident.

A judge still has to sign off on the settlement agreement for it to take effect.

Tyler would have been 19 years old in April and graduated high school shortly after.

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