Nearly nine months ago, 10-year-old Caleb Schwab and his family were enjoying a day at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City. The family got into the waterpark for free because the patriarch of the family, Scott Schwab, is a Kansas state representative.
Both Caleb and his older brother, 12-year-old Nathan Schwab, ran straight for the Verrückt, which was once the world's tallest waterslide.
Sadly, Caleb's harness broke while he was on slide and he died as a result.
Months after Scott and Michelle lost their son, the family settled with the Schlitterbahn Waterpark for an “undisclosed amount of money.” Now it is being revealed by The Kansas City Star that the Schwab family settled for nearly $20 million.
As The Star reported:
It’s believed to be the largest settlement of its kind paid in a wrongful death case involving a minor in either Kansas or Missouri.
The Star revealed its reason behind filing motions to have the settlement amount made public, in order to “ensure those responsible for Caleb’s death were held publicly accountable.”
The settlement will be paid out by four different parties. According to The Star, here's how it breaks down:
SVV 1 and KC Water Park, two companies associated with Texas-based water park company Schlitterbahn, will pay $14 million.
Henry & Sons Construction, the general contractor on the 17-story ride that broke records for the height of a water slide, is required to pay $5 million.
Zebec of North America, which manufactured the raft that carried up to three riders down the slide, will contribute $500,000.
And the National Aquatics Safety Co. and its founder, John Hunsucker, which consulted on Verrückt will pay out $232,125.
According to earlier reports, the Verrückt stood 17 stories high. The process of building such a ride was riddled with issues — issues such as rafts flying off of the slide during test rides.
Even after the ride had opened to the public, thrill-seekers recalled stories of how their harnesses broke during the ride as well.
When Caleb's harness broke, the boy was thrown from his raft into the safety netting where he was decapitated. Caleb and Nathan's mom, Michelle Schwab, told ABC News that her oldest son screamed when he witnessed what happened to his brother:
“He was screaming, 'He flew from Verrückt, he flew from Verrückt.'”
The shock made it almost impossible for Nathan to explain what had happened, yet nobody would let Caleb's parents through to see it with their own eyes.
While criminal charges have not yet been filed, an investigation is still ongoing. After the investigation is complete, the Verrückt will be torn down.
During the interview with ABC News, Scott and Michelle said that they now watch home videos and look at pictures of their 10-year-old son as they continue to cope with his unexpected passing.
They also thanked the people from all around the world who reached out to them to let them know it's going to be okay.
The Schwab family has not commented since the settlement amount was made public.