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.
Those who choose to participate in theme park activities assume a certain level of risk in doing so, but this does not exempt the park from the responsibility of ensuring the safety of its rides. Personal injury attorney John E. Leighton takes this responsibility very seriously, and adamantly defends those adversely affected by the negligence of others. Mr. Leighton has won many cases in the Resort Torts category, including a $1.8 million settlement for the family of a 15 year-old girl who was killed in a resort recreation accident and an $850,000 settlement for a tourist who suffered an injury after slipping and falling on the walkway outside a major resort hotel.
You can read more on the situation at Universal Orlando here – http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-10-10/business/os-riders-stuck-universal-coaster-20131010_1_hollywood-rip-ride-rockit-roller-coaster-universal-orlando.