California Supreme Court considers liability limits for amusement parks

Posted Thursday, October 4, 2012 9:47 AM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The California Supreme Court grappled Wednesday with whether to hold amusement parks liable for injuries that occur during a ride's normal operation. Meeting for oral argument, the state high court considered a lawsuit filed by a woman who broke her wrist while riding a bumper car at the Great America amusement park in Northern California. She claimed the park had operated the ride negligently and should compensate her for the injury. Cedar Fair L.P., the company that owns the park, countered that riders assume responsibility for themselves when they knowingly hop on an attraction with inherent risks.

Read more from The LA Times.

Thursday, October 4, 2012 10:33 AM

I think the post near the end makes a very good point about the difference in the nature of certain rides. It's reasonable to assume as a customer that a roller coaster will not hurt me. It's a thing on a track that gives (essentially) the same ride every time. Things like bumper cars and slides have a lot more variables and arguably do have more in common with participating in a sport.

I assume lower courts wouldn't award the plaintiff anything because, if the article is correct, she put her hand outside of the ride, breaking the rules, and got hurt.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012 11:28 AM

"Please keep you hands, arms, and legs inside the vehicle at all times."

I operated Rue Le Dodge for a couple of seasons and the only injuries I saw were caused by people running to the cars.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012 1:26 PM

What is the claim that the ride was operated negligently based on? That the rider should be able to break the safety rules and not suffer any consequences?

I'm getting annoyed with all these cases where the plaintiff's argument boils down to "I should be able to do whatever I want, and nothing bad should ever happen to me. And if something bad does happen to me because of my own actions, I deserve compensation."

Last edited by RatherGoodBear, Thursday, October 4, 2012 1:26 PM
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Thursday, October 4, 2012 4:20 PM

A precedence set in favor of the park could surely benefit Magic Mountain right about now, where I'm sure they're sitting somewhere just braced for the worst.

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Friday, October 5, 2012 7:24 PM

I sure hope Cedar Fair wins. If they don't we're another step closer to Atlas Shrugged.

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Friday, October 5, 2012 8:37 PM

We're another step closer to a 1,100 page, badly written tome replete with rambling 30-page soliloquys and critically reviled for its poor construction, lack of any meaningful editing and delusions of self-pretense?

God help us all.

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Friday, October 5, 2012 8:53 PM

What does Obamacare have to do with this?

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Friday, October 5, 2012 10:01 PM

Ensign Smith said:

We're another step closer to a 1,100 page, badly written tome replete with rambling 30-page soliloquys and critically reviled for its poor construction, lack of any meaningful editing and delusions of self-pretense?

God help us all.

OOh, someone fancies themself a literary scholar.

No, I was referring to the society which Ms. Rand created (but surely a scholar such as yourself knew that, you just want to argue). The society that refuses to accept responsibility for anything, including ignoring safety regulations and sticking your hand outside the car during a bumper car ride.

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Friday, October 5, 2012 11:12 PM

Scholar? No. (Though I do take pride in the accomplishment of actually wading all the way through that atrocious book.)

Mostly I was just enjoying the opportunity to rag you. :)

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Saturday, October 6, 2012 2:34 AM

Seemed like you were enjoying more the opportunity to trash Atlas Shrugged.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012 12:10 PM

If so, Good. Atlas Shrugged deserves trashing. :)

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Sunday, October 7, 2012 4:25 PM

Atlas shrugged. But he pinched a nerve while doing so, so he'll be filing a lawsuit tomorrow.

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