Settlement agreed to in principle in Houston Rodeo roller coaster death lawsuit

Brian Greenhouse fell to his death from the Hi-Miler in March 2011.

April 11, 2012 4:00:26 PM PDT
A settlement has been agreed to in principle in a lawsuit over the death of a man at a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo carnival roller coaster ride last year.

Both sides were back in court Thursday working to settle a lawsuit filed by that man's family.

Eyewitness News was the first to report last month that both sides agreed to settle this case. Now we know the number -- $2.7 million split between the son of the deceased man, Brian Greenhouse, and Greenhouse's parents.

At the settlement hearing Thursday at the civil courthouse downtown, the mother of Greenhouse's 7-year-old son answered questions about whether she understood the terms of this agreement.

HLSR and Ray Cammack Shows, the producer of the carnival, have agreed to pay the $2.7 million. It wwas the last day of the rodeo in March 2011 when Greenhouse fell to his death from the Hi-Miler roller coaster. The rodeo maintained the ride did not malfunction and that there were no safety issues. Greenhouse's family alleged negligence.

An autopsy later showed Greenhouse to be intoxicated at the time of the ride.

Negotiations for the settlement have been lengthy. If the settlement does go through, $1.95 million will go to Greenhouse's son, while the remaining $750,000 will go to Greenhouse's parents. The judge, however, has yet to sign off on the settlement because he says he has issues with attorneys' fees as well as how the money will be invested for Greenhouse's son.

Both HLSR and RCS say they are not admitting liability, just the unpredictable nature of a jury during a trial.

Everyone expects this to be wrapped up in the next few weeks.

The Hi-Miler did not return to the Houston Rodeo this year.

Greenhouse's death was the first of two accidents that happened in the last two years at the Houston Rodeo.

Just last month in March, a 3-year-old girl was thrown out of the Techno Jump ride. The girl was riding it with her brother when she slipped out of the seat.

A parent happened to capture dramatic video of the child falling out of the ride. She was treated at a hospital for a concussion.

After this accident, the rodeo changed the rules for over a dozen rides, requiring a supervising companion 16 years or older.

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