Family of 12-year-old injured in Xcelerator accident retains lawyer

Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2009 9:55 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The family of a 12-year-old boy injured last week in the Xcelerator accident at Knott's Berry Farm says a cable snapped and sliced through the front of the car and the boy's left calf. Attorney Art Morgan said the family retained him to make sure the amusement park pays their medical bills, something it hasn't yet offered to do.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:12 AM

That's surprising that the park wouldn't have offered to pay his medical bills. I would go after them for that and pain and suffering too. Maybe get enough to go buy my own roller coaster haha.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:15 AM

Is Cedar Fair just playing the waiting game, or do they really think they are getting out of paying this family for the medical bills?

Due to CF's lack of real response to the incident, I think they are still really trying to figure out what the hell to do about the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:15 AM

I'm sure this is a legal issue. Offering to pay the kid's bills implies an admission of culpability, which could be the foundation for a very substantial lawsuit.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:35 AM

I am willing to bet that there will be no offers made by the park to assist the payment of the medical bills until the cause of the accident is determined. What if the flaw is determined to be in the cable from the cable manufacturer? Then would the responsibility then not lie on that manufacturer? Or what if it is a flaw in the design? Then isnt it Intamin's responsibilty? Just some food for thought.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:05 AM

What annoys me about this and most every accident we've ever read about is that there's an unwillingness to be transparent. That's pointless, because everything will come out in the end, one way or another.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:30 AM

Very much agreed, Jeff. I just can't believe they aren't making an effort to be transparent considering that a video of the incident has been on the internet for the last week, from the front seat, no less.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:33 AM

Transparency is probably best from a business/PR perspective. But I think transparency makes most attorneys cringe at least before all/most of the facts are known.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:05 PM

But the thing is, it's not like you can hide things in the discovery process of a lawsuit anyway.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:13 PM

I just hope the family isn't a buch of gold diggers. On the other hand, I can understand why they hired a lawyer. If and when CF does slip an agreement on the table, they want somebody who understands all the mumbo jumbo and legaleze in the document.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:19 PM

How did Cedar Fair handle the Son of Beast guest injury early this summer before the ride was closed, did they upfront offer to pay for that guest's medical bills? Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't Disney typically inform injured guests that medical-financial issues will be taken care of upfront regardless whether it is "their" (ie. Dinsey's) responsibility or "the ride manufacturers" responsibility if the injury is related to a mechanical failure with one of their attractions?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:28 PM

Unfortunately, this is the result of what our legal system has turned into. Admit nothing, say or do nothing that could be interpreted as admitting anything, and say or do nothing that can be twisted around later and bite you in the ass. It may seem like CF is doing nothing, but it's all a case of my lawyer and your lawyer having to talk it over.

Notice how even the boy's family is saying nothing. Don't you think they've been instructed to do so by their lawyer?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:51 PM

Yah, they were injured on a ride in a Cedar Fair park. I think they could pay for the bills and then go after the manufacturer if it is determined to be the case. In terms of bad PR, not paying the bills is pretty bad.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 1:50 PM

Any given case may be settled before discovery so the fact that stuff will come out in discovery down the line may not matter. And attorneys in general are taught to avoid/reduce risk. Transparency before all/most of the facts are in comes with a fair amount of risk. Again, as a business matter, transparency may make more sense. But risk management folks will tend to be more cautious.

Not sure there is much bad PR at this point. How many people even know about the accident? And how many people know that CF hasn't offered to pay medical bills at this point? I suspect in the end, CF will pay the medical bills plus a lot more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 1:59 PM

Well given the population of LA, and that it was on the news and in the paper, I'm guessing this is hardly a big secret.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2:07 PM

What surprises me is that this story has stayed so localized. Normally when some event like this happens, the national media is all over it. If I wasn't in the enthusiast community, I don't think I would have ever known about this. Did it make the news around here and I just missed it?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2:08 PM

The fact that the accident happened is not a secret because its out in the public domain at this point. But that doesn't mean that most people know about it. And certainly doesn't mean that most people are following the story enough to know what is happening beyond what they may have seen in the video. My guess is that the majority of people who go to Knotts do not know about the accident at this point and certainly the majority of folks who go to CF parks do not know it happened. I think there is a tendency on this type of board to thing that everyone is as well informed about the various parks/the industry as folks on the board but that isn't the case.

I am very confident that if I went to some downtown LA office buildings, I would have no problem finding folks who have no clue that this accident happened. And many who know about it have no idea where it occurred, the name of the ride, who built it, how serious the injuries are or whether CF has offered to pay medical bills. And given all of that, I just do not see the issue at this point of bad PR associated with not paying medical bills.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2:10 PM

this story has stayed so localized.

I think there are a couple reasons. First, no one is dead. The video contributes on the sensationalization angle, but even there there's not really any blood, and other than a small debris cloud and jerked seat, there's no obvious damage and destruction---no crumpled steel, jagged fiberglass, etc. Finally, it's Knotts and Cedar Fair, not Disney. Just doesn't play as well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2:16 PM

No blood, no news. It's a shame. But, your probably right.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 2:55 PM

Cedar Fair doesn't pay medical bills directly. That's what liability insurance is for, so of course the park doesn't offer to pay your medical bills. The lawyer is just trying to make the park look bad in the public opinion court because most people aren't smart enough to understand the process a claim like this must go through.


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