Plaintiff Alleges His Paralysis Was Caused by Water Slide
Court records show that at least 115 injury complaints have been leveled against Universal Studios involving a water slide in Volcano Bay. One tourist claims that he was paralyzed after going on the ride.
Among the injuries reported were concussions, scrapes, bruises, nose bleeds, and whiplash, according to court documents.
Universal spokesman, Tim Schroder, said that over 1.5 million people have enjoyed the waterslide, and this was the first time anyone has suffered an injury bad enough that it had to be reported under Florida law.
James Bowen has filed a lawsuit against Universal Studios and the slide’s manufacturer, ProSlide Technology. He says that upon exiting the slide, his head was whipped back by the oncoming water.
State law requires that all amusement parks report injuries if the patron is hospitalized for more than 24 hours.
Taking a Look at the Lawsuit
While Florida law requires that amusement parks report injuries if the injury requires a 24-hour hospital stay or longer, there appear to be a number of lesser injuries that have been ascribed to this ride. Additionally, the plaintiff will supply evidence that a test slider was injured in a very similar way. Since whiplash is one of the major reported injuries due to the ride, it stands to reason that in rare cases, a serious neck injury could occur. Since the injury is foreseeable, the amusement park is liable, or so the plaintiff’s alleges.
In a case like this, the amusement park will scour through the plaintiff’s medical history looking for some other explanation other than ride failure for his injuries. Chances are, there is something in his past that made him more susceptible to being injured in this way. They will then claim that the plaintiff should have known that his prior injuries left him more vulnerable to a ride like this, and that he assumed the risk when he decided to go on the ride. That is what the defense argument will probably look like.
Depending on what other medical explanations there are for this plaintiff’s paralysis, the plaintiff’s case could either be very good, or not good at all. Amusement parts generally have warnings for patrons who suffer from certain conditions.
The slide is simply a large plastic tube with a flow of water running down it. Upon exiting the slide, the patron enters deeper water. If the patron’s head is not level with their body, this can cause whiplash or worse. It’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be some instruction given to patrons to keep their heads level with their body while enjoying the slide. If that’s the case, it could sway a jury to blame the plaintiff for his injuries.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you are entitled to sue given that certain conditions are met. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to schedule a free consultation and tell us about your experience.