Theme Park Litigation
As residents of Southern California, our firm realizes that we are privileged to have some of the nation’s best theme parks at our disposal. Just like most people we have childhood memories of not being able to fall asleep the night before a family trip to the local theme park. It is no wonder that people flock to such parks in the pursuit of entertainment and the addicting adrenaline rush that makes adults act as if they were young again. However, does attendance at such parks or the willingness to ride a roller coaster give permission to such parks to inadequately maintain such rides?
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has been involved in litigating two of the largest theme park cases that received nation-wide media coverage. In 1998 our firm represented a family in a wrongful death matter of a 34-year-old Microsoft Computer Programmer who was struck by a metal cleat which detached from a signature Disney ride “the Sailing Ship Columbia” in front of his wife and grandchildren. His wife was also struck by the metal cleat and she suffered severe facial injuries.
Aggressive investigation determined that the Columbia incident was caused by a variety of Disney failures. First, the Columbia Incident was caused by Disney’s failure to train its employees on the proper docking of the Columbia. Second, the Columbia was not properly maintained prior to the incident. Investigation established that the subject cleat was not properly secured and that “wood rot” also contributed to the incident. Third, expert witnesses contended that Disney used an improper rope to dock the Columbia. Authentic “hemp” rope was originally used; but hemp was replaced by nylon rope for economic reasons. Click here to see the verdict report in this matter.
The “Columbia” incident sparked a national debate over the safety of our theme parks. Particularly, in California, legislation was enacted specifically designed to ensure independent inspection of theme parks, such as Disneyland. That legislation provided mandatory inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). The Columbia incident also changed police response to accidents in Disneyland following the 4 ½ hour delay by the Anaheim Police to investigate the Columbia tragedy. The Anaheim Police Department has since placed a full time officer at Disneyland.
The new state law that resulted from the Columbia is now getting its first major test as workplace safety officials investigate two recent accidents. In one accident, two workers (represented by the Aitken * Aitken * Cohn) were seriously injured at Disney California Adventure while working on the Grand Californian Hotel. To see verdict reports click here. In another accident, a boy was seriously injured while riding the Roger Rabbit ride.
Recently our firm represented a family in a wrongful death matter of a 22-year old graphic designer who was killed on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disneyland, California. The young man was seated in the first car just behind the faux locomotive. Investigations conducted by OSHA and our experts revealed that the train derailed due to faulty maintenance. As the locomotive entered the last turn before the tunnel, the train’s wheels began falling apart. The derailed wheels slammed into the brakes attached to the floor. Upon impact the rear of the locomotive shot up and the nose down allowing the passenger case to be crushed under the rear of the locomotive.
Theme Park Injury Lawyer/Attorney
Theme park lawsuits can seem overwhelming since it involves numerous areas of laws such as premise liability, product liability and personal injury. It is our hope that we may use our experience and expertise in this area of law to help protect the rights of people injured at theme parks.
Aitken * Aitken * Cohn has successfully represented numerous victims of theme park accidents. The law firm has the compassion, resources and experience to consult the unfortunate victims of amusement park injury. For a free consultation from a nationally recognized amusement park lawyer, please contact 1-866-434-1424 or fill out the contact form and a specialist will be in touch shortly.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein does not constitute an attorney client relationship. The Orange County theme park information, personal injury and other legal information is provided for informational purposes alone. Aitke * Aitken * Cohn practices amusement park litigation throughout Southern California and Northern California including Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernadino, and San Francisco. For more information, please contact an Orange County theme park lawyer using the form provided or at 1-866-434-1424.
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