Universal Water Slide Implicated in Paralysis Injury
A man is suing Universal Studios and ProSlide Technologies after he says he was left paralyzed after exiting the slide. Now, court documents have revealed that there have been 115 injury reports concerning the same water slide.
In Florida, however, Universal Studios is only required to report the incident if the customer’s injury requires a hospital stay of 24 hours or more. According to a Universal Studios spokesman, the plaintiff’s incident was the only one that required reporting.
But in depositions, Universal Studios was forced to divulge all other incident reports related to the water slide, of which there were 115. While most of the injuries included bruises, cuts, and scrapes, at least some of these incidents reports included whiplash. This is important due to the plaintiff’s allegations.
Why is This Slide Dangerous?
With due deference to the defendant’s argument, the plaintiff claims that when he was coming off the ride, the force of the water on his neck caused it to snap back so suddenly that it damaged his spinal cord and vertebrae. This is significant since at least some of the riders who claimed they were injured on the slide reported that their injury was whiplash. Further, the plaintiff alleges that a test rider was injured in precisely the same way, making the current plaintiff’s injuries foreseeable.
Are There Instructions for Safely Enjoying the Slide?
Amusement park rides are fun because there is an element of danger. For this reason, amusement parks generally have signs or instructions on who the ride is safe for and how to ride it safely. As an example, this water slide could have instructed patrons of the park to keep their backs and heads absolutely flat as they were going down the slide. This would ostensibly prevent the types of injuries (like whiplash) that could lead to the most serious complications.
If there are instructions on the water park slide and the plaintiff failed to follow these instructions, it could reduce or even eliminate Universal Studios from liability. The question will, however, need to be decided by a jury.
Foreseeability in Premises Liability Claims
Amusement parks essentially fall under two areas of injury law. These are premises liability and product liability. Product liability lawsuits fall under strict liability. This means that if an amusement park ride malfunctions, the defendant is automatically responsible unless the plaintiff was given a clear and obvious warning concerning the particular ride. In a premises liability lawsuit, however, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was aware of a particular danger. In this case, the plaintiffs have already begun setting up a negligence-based action, which often a stronger and more damning argument for why the defendant should be held liable. Nonetheless, product liability is easier to prove.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an amusement park, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb P.A. can help you hold the park accountable and recover damages related to your injuries. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and tell us more about your situation.