Civil suits follow murder indictment against manager at Rockin' Raceway

Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004 11:00 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Relatives of a woman who fell from the Hawk at Rockin' Raceway in Pigeon Forge and died have filed lawsuits against the park, its manager and the manufacturer of the ride. They are seeking a total of $96 million dollars in damages.

Read more from WKRN/Nashville.

Sunday, October 10, 2004 11:03 PM
I talked to someone that has worked on this kind of ride, and it's his opinion that there's no way in hell that a working restraint would fail. He also says that if it did, the ride wouldn't operate unless you bypass the safety interlock. I bet that the interlock was bypassed, and if that's the case, you can't blame Zamperla for that.

On the other hand, nail the idiot if he indeed knew about the situation.

Monday, October 11, 2004 9:12 AM
I know that at on Kennywood' Aero360(Hawk 48) after the OTSR's are lowered, they lock them into place.
Monday, October 11, 2004 10:55 AM
It turns out that a restraint became "loose" on this ride back in 03 as well so this isn't the first time it's happened with that particular ride.

Sounds to me like they certainly knew of the potential problem but continued to operate the ride any way & should be found guilty as charged as a result.

Monday, October 11, 2004 11:29 AM
My condolences to the family again...

but... 96 million?!?!? That's absolutely insane. I hope they lose.

Monday, October 11, 2004 11:56 AM
You might re-think your answer, SFGAdv Lover, when you read this article...

"The suit alleges Alexander first asked the ride's operator if her weight would be a problem. He apparently told her no, that other people who were bigger than her had been on the ride.

The suit says that when the safety harness came down, Alexander told the operator she wanted to get off, but he told her 'no' and started the ride anyway."


Charles Martin, the park's manager, already faces second degree murder and reckless homicide charges.

He wasn't operating the ride at the time, but the suit says he is responsible because "The Hawk ride was allowed to operate with 'jumper wires' which allowed the ride to operate by bypassing safety devices that were designed to prevent the ride from operating unless all riders were first safely restrained."

Monday, October 11, 2004 12:20 PM
And this article too...

Richard P. Alexander Jr. of Millersville, Tenn., asked for $64 million on behalf of his wife's estate and their minor son; Sprinkles and Young each are seeking $16 million.

[Judy] Sprinkles and [Gail] Young were the woman's sisters who were there and saw their sister killed.

Monday, October 11, 2004 1:53 PM
There you go... they did bypass the safety interlocks. Sue the bastards out of existence, I say. The industry doesn't need businesses like that.
Monday, October 11, 2004 2:47 PM
And that is what the $96 million is meant to do. They know that - most likely - they will never see most of the money if they are awarded the maximum - it will put him out of business and that (along with putting him in jail) is -most likely- their ultimate goal.

Either way it will not bring back the woman/wife/mother/sister but it will begin to correct the situation. *** This post was edited by redman822 10/11/2004 4:18:07 PM ***

Monday, October 11, 2004 4:16 PM
Ok, point well taken.
Monday, October 11, 2004 6:53 PM
What is the value of a life? I honestly do not have an answer...I was wondering if any of you have opinions about the dollar worth assigned to a life lost in such an apparent ruthless manner? There has to be a dollar amount that crosses reasonable doesn't there? Does 96 million approach the reasonable threshold or should it be higher?

Jail: I say yes
Electric Chair: I would not lose any sleep
Torture: I could go along with this (maybe have him ride this thing without restraints to see what it is like...)

$96 million---I'm not so sure...

Monday, October 11, 2004 9:05 PM
Remember that the initial amount listed in a suit like this is often no more than an opening negotiating position. It doesn't mean that the party suing really expects to get that much.
Monday, October 11, 2004 9:45 PM
As was discussed previously, the restraints on this version of the Hawk are different from the restraints on the park model.
Monday, October 11, 2004 10:11 PM
And what does that have to do with anything? Do us all a favor and scroll up to redman's post.

It doesn't matter what the configuration of the restraints are, the bottom line is that the park bypassed the safety system.

Monday, October 11, 2004 10:43 PM
still 96 million is a little high and i dont think the judge would give them that much.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 5:48 AM
they will not get 96 million, the guy doesn't have it, they want to run the guy out of business...and I agree with them. If he actually did condone bypassing of the safety interlocks, he should be out of the business and in jail for the death of the woman serving some hard time.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004 11:04 AM
And if by chance he did have 96mill, he dosen't deserve it, so why not give it to the people whose lives he ruined?

This sounds less like greed and more like "lets take him for all he has since he is responsible for the death of our loved one".

I'm sure their lawyer has already told them they will not get the money...they go to school for such things, ya know.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 8:39 PM
No matter how much money they are sued it wont equal the cost of life. If you sued Bill Gates 96 million it would not mean as much as if you sued the average person 300,00. There fore the amount the owner gets sued should have some sort of a relationship to the amount he has.

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