Fellner estate sues PTC and Holiday World for 2003 accident

Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 6:07 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The family of Tamar Fellner, who died at Holiday World's Stark Raven Mad event two years ago, has filed suit against Holiday World and PTC. Investigations at the time indicated that Ms. Fellner may have unfastened her seatbelt and stood up on the ride. The suit brings claims for negligence, strict liability in tort, and breach of implied warranty against Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters and Holiday World's parent company.

Read more and get a copy of the complaint at MassTort.org.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 6:19 PM
kpjb's avatar So anyhow, the other day I'm driving down the road. As much fun as that is already, I think it'd be funner if I put it on cruise control and stood on my roof. That way I get a better sense of speed. Wouldn't you know, a low overpass comes up, but I ignore the signs. Those signs are for amateurs that don't have any experience driving. Anyhow, the thing beheads me when I go under it.

I plan on suing the contractor who built the road, the government that approved it, and of course Toyota for making my seatbelts able to be unbuckled while in motion.

It sure as hell isn't my fault.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 6:24 PM
^lol

This is ridiculous. Its common sense. If you take off your seatbelt and stand up on a coaster, you are going to get hurt.

Sorry, I still have no sympathy for this person's foolish lack of judgement, and I hope the courts rule the same way. Its not tragic, its just plain dumb.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 6:26 PM
Jeff's avatar At this point I feel the worst for the folks at Holiday World. I know they've been trying hard to put this behind them.

I think the investigation was fairly conclusive. I'm not a lawyer, but if the plaintiffs were able to win, it sets a dangerous precedent that makes the parks liable for rider misconduct. I mean, what becomes reasonable restraints? Welding people into a steel cage?

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 6:37 PM
Being that she was an enthusiast, she knew the risk and potential consequences of her actions. Had she survived, I doubt she'd be rallying to sue HW and PTC for her misconduct, I know I sure wouldn't. Seems more like some sleezy lawyer got ahold of her parents and convinced them that there should be some sort of compensation for Tamars bad decisions.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:06 PM
No.

Any person should know the "risk and potential consequences" of unfastening a belt. If anything, the enthusi-ass in her made her believe she was oblivious to the consequences.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:13 PM
I saw this and my jaw dropped to the floor. HolidayWorld had handled this most unfortunate incident in a compassionate and professional manner. They do not deserve this. I quickly read the complaint and it's all bunk. Our legal system is way out of hand.... as it has been for many years!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:23 PM
While I really do support Holiday World I don't think they have a chance on this one. When photos are floating around the internet of folks using lanyards to hold the restraints as open as possible... you kind of lose your right to say "we do everything we can to operate the ride safely."

In my opinion (IANAL) Holiday World screwed up by setting a precedence and Ms. Felner screwed up by being ignorant.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:29 PM
I'm amazed at how stupid we are as a society anymore. OK...litigious is the better word. But sueing the park and PTC for your own stupid/careless act? As far as I'm concerned the wrong parties are being sued here. But then again, how do you sue a corpse?? She paid the ultimate price for her actions. It's a totally sad situation that doesn't need this action on top of it all. It's not gonna bring her back. Besides, I think she was pushed out by her boyfriend/fiance' anyways. As far as I'm concerned, he committed the perfect murder at the park's, and everyone elses expense. The parents should sue him for not taking care and looking out for her!!

Wood Coaster Fan Club - "Sharing a Passion for the Classics"

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:30 PM
joe.'s avatar You'd think the reports of no worn parts and a working seat belt and lap bar conducted by the state would make sufficient proof that Holiday World was not at fault.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:35 PM
If I’ve crossed the line, axe it Jeff…My blood boils at this news. May I rant?

As a direct and proximate result of reading this complaint, I will now puke. The folks at Holiday World handled themselves with compassion and restraint throughout this whole ordeal. To this day I’ve never heard anything but heartfelt sympathy for this accident. For public relations purposes, they really are unable to defend themselves without looking like the “bad guy” to the general public who only remember that somebody died on Raven.

Let me be the first in line to say that I have zero remorse for Tamar Fellner. She is an idiot who suffered the fate of Darwinism. Out of respect for the family, I kept my unpopular opinion to myself when this accident happened. I used to have sympathy for the family members who lost a loved one, but now I have none. The fact that they would allow this proceeding to initiate places them somewhere between Son of Beast and the mud on my shoes.

It is this type of frivolous action that makes some of us cringe at the thought of the current status of the US judicial system. The fact that the good folks at Holiday World will have to suffer the financial, and more importantly the PR burden as a result of this unsavory money shakedown makes me sick. I fully expect Holiday World’s response to remain above the fray, as they really have no choice, but more importantly are just better human beings than I. I could never sit back and “put on a happy face” if such unwarranted and unreasonable comments and actions were directed toward me.

I certainly believe that in a just world there is no way a judge will ever take this case based upon the witness reports and the weakness of the complaint. However, who ever said this is a just world. I would not be shocked if Holiday World settles this out of court. They may have no better option to put this situation behind them. For the general sense of fairness, I certainly hope this case is laughed out of court.
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 5/3/2005 7:38:13 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:49 PM
Wasn't there some video from the staion that showed her loosening her restraints after the employee had already secured her? Or am I dreaming? Plus, the already mentioned safety reports from the state.

These are the times when our US justice system is a total joke. It's ok if they want to play the blame game, but at least get the participants right. She was to blame, and then, her fiancee, who if I remember right was sitting right next to her on the train. To blame the park, and the coaster maker! What a crock of crap! They've evidently found the right ambulance chaser for the job...I see $$$$$$$

Hang in there Koch's, we love you all! You're in our thoughts and prayers.*** This post was edited by Floorless Fan 5/3/2005 7:56:01 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:52 PM
Yep, this just seems the typical American way now. It is always about stealing money from good companies as easy as possible so you don't have to contribute to society.

I can't believe that this can even go forward with being this was over two years ago. There should be some sort of cut-off date for such frivilous lawsuits.

Not only do I hope the judge throws out this case, I hope that they hit up the family with some sort of fine and Holiday World sues the pants out of this family for slander on their part.

Holiday World is a family park and it only took one "enthusiast" to show the world that parks won't put up with it since Holiday World hasn't had the Stark Raven Mad event for a while now.

All my opinion, but people like this should be shipped off to Cuba to find out just how good they have it in the U.S.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 7:58 PM
USA USA USA!!

I am surprised the family took this long.

I have not been to Holidy World yet, but I heard nothing but things about the owners. I hope they get through this.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 8:04 PM
Jeff's avatar Those of you directing hate toward the attorneys and the legal system are directing it toward the wrong place. If you are ever wronged, or even think you've been wronged, you'll be thankful that you have the right to settle the dispute in a court of law. If you didn't have that right, your neighbor, corporations, etc., could cheat or cause you some kind of harm you without consequence.

The issue of a suit being filed is not itself a problem. An outcome that favors the plaintiff would be a problem.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 8:18 PM
I really can't see the estate winning. I read the whole complaint, and they're alledging things that were simply not true.

Still really saddens me to see a family do something like this. Nobody wants to take responsibility anymore.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 8:25 PM
Jeff is right on this one, the lawyers are just doing their job. You may not like it, but they have to make a living as well.

I agree with Jeffry R. here. I had that unpopular opinion as well. I do feel bad that someone lost their life, and people lost a friend/family member, but she brought this upon herself and this lawsuit, IMHO, is just wrong. Had Holiday World acted negligently (SP?), it would be different.

But I'm sorry, everyone knows not to unbuckle a belt on a ride to stand up. Heck, why not sue the teacher that didn't teach her to read a sign that says not to stand up.

I know I'm an enthusiast, and I may be biased, but this is Ludicrous.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 8:30 PM
Yes, but what if a lawyer encouraged the family to file suit? Or when they saught the legal advice the lawyer said he'd take the case, knowing that even a settlement would be a big pay day for him. Though I doubt the family would win with a jury, I think a lawyer may have played a bit of a role in it. I wouldn't totally defend the lawyer.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 8:43 PM
nasai's avatar I find it curious that her parents put a value of $75,000 on her "love and affection." :-O

Holy ****.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005 8:53 PM
To the family: If you read this, you daughter deserved it. Man up ya Nancies. Maybe HW should sue you for allowing your mentally incapacitated offspring to ride without proper supervision.

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