Articles Tagged with “Resort Injury”

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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.
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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.”

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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.