Articles Tagged with “Resort Injury”

Published on:

4 Die In Theme Park Tragedy October 25, 2016

4 Die In Theme Park Tragedy October 25, 2016

In yet another tragic theme park mishap, Australia’s “Dreamworld” experienced a death toll this week that rivaled Mosul. Four people were killed aboard the park’s Thunder River Rapids Ride at the Queensland amusement park, the largest and most popular in the country.  In an apparent malfunction of a conveyor belt, the ride caused “unsurvivable” injuries to the four adults.

These deaths highlight a serious problem plaguing amusement parks.  There is virtually no uniform oversight.  Standards are lax and inspections rare.  Much of the process is dependent upon operators, who may be poorly trained, paid and supervised.

Published on:

iStock_000017000922Medium-30%.jpg
We love our thrill rides. Well, at least until they provide real-life thrills. These are the type of thrills that injure and kill. While amusement and theme park rides are advertised as “thrilling” and “fun,” often they prove deadly. Numerous amusement park deaths are caused by roller coaster crashes. Because there is no centralized reporting or investigative agency, most of the time the only investigation into the cause of a catastrophe is by the ride operator itself.

in 2011 there were 1200 amusement ride accidents in the U.S., with about 4% resulting in serious physical harm or death. A study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio reported that between 1990 and 2010, 92,000 children were injured in amusement ride accidents.

This summer there have been examples of ride gone awry. Yesterday a power outage at Orlando’s Disney World stranded 120 passengers on the monorail who were stuck for hours in the un-air conditioned ride. http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/13/us/florida-disney-monorail-evacuated/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Published on:

Parasailing Fotolia_12905495_M-50%.jpg
Shannon Kraus is a mother on a mission. Seven years after the death of her 15 year-old daughter and a brain injury to her 17 year-old, Shannon has succeeded in getting some measure of parasailing regulation passed in Florida.

Working with her attorney, John Leighton of Leighton Law, P.A., and countless hours of meetings with state and local legislators, plus continued parasailing injuries and deaths each year, the Florida Legislature finally passed a law to regulate parasailing safety:

http://www.actionhub.com/news/2014/06/24/florida-governor-signs-parasailing-bill-law/

Published on:

iStock_000005171388Medium.jpg
Last Wednesday, 12 people were stranded atop Universal Orlando’s Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster after a “tech glitch” caused the ride to come to a halt. The park patrons were stalled in a vertical position for nearly three hours while the situation was resolved and Orlando firefighters were called in to rescue them. Luckily, no passenger was seriously injured. One person was taken to the hospital after complaining of neck pain.

This “tech glitch” was not the first for the 17-story-tall ride. At its inception, construction delays put off the grand opening of the ride for two months, and at one point, crews had to replace the mechanism responsible for preventing the coaster from sliding backward during its initial ascent up a 90-degree lift hill. Just over a year later, the ride was shut down for a month to perform “undisclosed maintenance” after warnings from the rides’ manufacturer about potential structural flaws with holding the trains together. Just this past summer, Universal shut down the ride a third time to perform inspections after a minor malfunction.

Additionally, the ride closed again briefly on Thursday afternoon for undisclosed reasons, though Universal claims the shutdown was unrelated to Wednesday’s issue.

Published on:

Cruise ship passageway.jpgCruise lines must now report to the FBI all crimes aboard cruise ships AND must take actions to protect the crime victims. The new legislation requiring these measures was passed in Congress last month. Once it is signed by President Obama, it will enforce security measures requiring ships to install peep holes on cabin doors and make further changes affecting rail heights, warning devices, and other security measures. Cruise lines will also be required to provide shipboard medical care for victims of sexual assault and medical staff that knows how to collect forensic evidence, reports USA Today.

Inadequate premises security is too often the culprit in personal injury cases that occur in tourist destinations, where vacationers naturally let their guard down to relax and ‘get away from it all.’ Inadequate security and premises liability lawsuits usually involve criminal assaults and violent crime due to negligent security, insufficient lighting, inadequate security equipment, inadequate security personnel, or other causes. The law governing these cases is derived from the general principle that those who own or possess property have a duty to protect users from accidental, negligent, and intentional acts of third parties.

Published on:

Slip and fall warning sign.jpgA Florida law takes effect July 1 that requires slip-and-fall plaintiffs to prove that the business knew or should have known about the substance that caused the fall and failed to clean it up. Prior to this law, plaintiffs only had to prove that an ‘out-of-place’ substance caused the injury.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that a staff analysis of the bill in the House of Representatives predicted that the change would give businesses an advantage, as it requires an extra burden of proof on the plaintiff.

But lawsuits are not likely to decline as a result. Businesses will continue to pay out money long before a jury is involved. Settlements are increasingly common, particularly in slip-and-fall cases where a business cannot prove it took appropriate precautions to prevent an accident.

Published on:

In yet another example of a rogue industry run wild, a parasailing catastrophe was averted only by sheer luck. On Monday June 7, 2010, the state of Florida witnessed two more injuries occurring from the unregulated parasailing industry. The Miami Herald reported that a father and his six-year-old daughter were bounced across the water into a sea wall when their parasail malfunctioned east of Miami’s Bayside Marketplace. They were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment of what fortunately were only bumps and bruises.

“Their injuries could have been much worse,” said Jorge Pino, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Pino said that authorities are looking into whether the tow rope snapped or if a person from the boat cut it.

Parasailing tragedy.jpg
This incident is all too familiar and only reinforces the urgent need to pass the Amber May Law, to bring some regulation to this rogue industry. As reported by The Today Show, fifteen-year-old Amber May White died while parasailing from head trauma along with internal injuries, sustained when she crashed into a building when the parasail on which she was riding snapped, while vacationing with her family in Pompano Beach, Florida. Amber May’s sister Crystal also suffered head injuries in this tragedy. John Elliott Leighton represented the family in the lawsuit against the parasail operators and the resort where Amber May was killed. Mr. Leighton has spearheaded legislative efforts to bring some regulation to this rogue industry. His efforts in Tallahassee have resulted in a bill which he and the family hope to make law this year.
Continue reading →

Published on:

The first jury trial in six years alleging safety problems on a Central Florida theme park ended in Disney’s favor Monday, May 3, when it was decided that that no dangerous condition existed on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror that might have caused a 68-year-old man’s stroke three weeks after riding it.

A Disney spokeswoman was unsurprisingly ‘pleased with the verdict’ and assured reporters that safety is Disney’s ‘primary concern.’ Plaintiff Marvin Cohen of Philadelphia, now 80, can request a new trial and file a notice for appeal in the 10 days following the jury’s verdict.

Cohen’s attorney, Barry Novack of Los Angeles, believes that Judge Jose R. Rodriguez’s rulings before and during the trial prevented his client from pursuing all his claims that the ride’s warnings misled him, and therefore skewed the ultimate result. He plans to review the rulings and could then appeal.
Continue reading →

Published on:

The February 24, 2010 death of orca trainer Dawn Brancheau prompted yet another investigation into the subject of employee risk, by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as an internal probe within SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

The Orlando Sentinel’s article chronicling incidents and accidents involving captive killer whales and their trainers says that SeaWorld estimates close to 2 million interactions between trainers and killer whales since 1964 – a “relative scarcity of injuries,” demonstrating a strong safety record. But there are enough killer-whale accidents with trainers recorded that SeaWorld shows an entire video of them as part of its trainer orientation program.

dreamstime_14471747.jpgFormer SeaWorld trainer Mark Simmons blames himself for the 2-inch-thick medical file he accumulated during his career, saying they were all the result of his mistakes, not the aggressive behavior of an orca. The injuries “were an inevitable consequence of a job that involves intense physical activity and close contact with animals that can be as big as a school bus.”

Published on:

Tragedy struck on Walt Disney World property when a 9-year-old boy found himself and his bicycle pulled under the right rear tire of a Disney Transport bus at the Fort Wilderness Resort, April 1, 2010. Despite wearing a helmet, the boy lost his life. According to a report by MSNBC, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes said there was no evidence that the bus driver was impaired or driving recklessly and criminal charges are not expected, though a thorough investigation will be conducted.

In recent months, Disney theme parks reported several transportation incidents, including a Walt Disney World bus rear-ending a charter bus near the entrance of Epcot (seven passenger injuries), two buses colliding at Walt Disney World (twelve passenger injuries), and a collision crash of two monorails, resulting in the death of one of the operators. These incidents show a potential for increase in annual transportation crashes at Disney: In a one-year period during 2004-2005, there were four deaths and 19 injuries reported by Disney at its Florida theme parks, most but not all due to bus and transportation crashes. Disney has only been required to report incidents at its parks to state inspectors since 2001.

The amusement and entertainment giant paid $35,200 in fines imposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and is facing a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of its monorail operator.