Girls may sue Stratosphere for being stuck on Insanity

Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 1:42 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The family of two girls is exploring legal action after the girls were stuck on Stratosphere's Insanity ride for 80 minutes following a safety shutdown. The girls were not hurt.

Read more from KVBC/Las Vegas.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:24 PM
I know some might think this is ridulous but I would sue too lol. I'd hate being stuck up there for 80 minutes and have ride ops laughing at me.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:34 PM
For some reason, there are a couple things that may drive me to the same conclusion.

1. Interactive Rides was downright moronic for not designing it to return to the station in the event of a shutdown. I'm still convinced that company has no idea what they are doing.

2. Thats crap that the ride ops were laughing. Not appropriate.

3. Its pretty unprofessional of them to hang up on the father who wanted to know if his kids were ok. Surely they had important things going on, but what kind of customer service is that? He had a valid inquiry!

I'm sure it will get settled out of court, and hopefully that settlement will force Interactive Rides to properly design their ride.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 3:55 PM
But are any of those good reasons to sue? The fact that it's a casino loaded with cash is a better reason.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 4:37 PM
They have no just cause. If the ride was inspected by the Stata of Nevada, and in the operatios manual was approved, which of course, pauses the ride in high winds, then that is the procedure.

Granted, that ride is made for ground operation, and it is just a bit more windy on the Strat, hey, it is going to stop. I am certain that Interactive Rides made safety adjustments for the conditions.

Yes, it should be able to be switched to a maintenece mode and manually unloaded, but I am not the engineer who disigned any of it. Yes, the girsl were scared. yes, they ride left them in a precarious position, and yes, that engineer who climbed out on the structure is one huge idiot.

Can they sue? Yes. Will they win. No. Will the Strat give them a few bucks. Yes. Will ridership increase? Yes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 4:43 PM
I wouldn't sue if they game me somthing nice. Car perhaps.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 4:57 PM
Not that this affects the case in any way...BUT..I live in Vegas...and the dirty little secret that the media is not touching (besides one radio station in town) is the fact that "the 11 year-old" involved in this case was riding rides on top of the Stratosphere at 12:15am-1:00 am ON A SCHOOL NIGHT!

She lives in Vegas and is enrolled in the Clark County School District. Again, this may have no affect on the case. Vegas does have a curfew law for 18 yo and younger, but I'm not sure how the 19-yo cousin may affect the law interpretation in terms of proper supervision...?

Anyhow, besides the obvious malfunctions with the Stratosphere operations, it is safe to say that we may also have a malfunction in the parental supervision category...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 5:29 PM
Okay, I'm sorry but this is a totally insane lawsuit. It is things like this, coupled with the fact that some people _on these boards_ think that this is a warranted lawsuit that drives me nuts.

The ride shut down. Why did the ride shut down? The ride sensed some sort of problem with it. Perhaps it was wind. Perhaps it was something else. So the ride stops itself. Lets say that it sensed something was wrong, and moving it back would've caused the arm to break off the ride sending these girls and the others on the ride to their death. Would it be better to automatically have the ride return to the platform in the case of a shutdown and run that risk? I'd say not.

Sometimes rides have problems that can't be fixed in a few minutes. The stratosphere is in an interesting position where it is a LOT harder for them to unload a ride that is in the air. We've all heard about the problems that rides like Deja Vu have had valleying. The difference is that those rides can get cherry pickers to get the people down quickly if they can't be "naturally" unloaded. The pure design of the rides on the stratosphere don't allow for that.

And about the 80 minutes... sometimes rides break down and they aren't a simple fix. If that is the case and the on-site maintence took 80 minutes to get them down, that's a fair amount of time.

I think that if Security hung up on the father, that probably was inappropriate, but I'd like to hear the whole story on that. How did the father get access to the number for security anyway? And what updates were they supposed to be giving him? If he called up security and demanded that they tell him what is going on, and if they told him they didn't know because they aren't maintence, and the father started yelling at them, then that is fine. If the father got the number through a normal channel and they just said, "We don't care." and hung up, then yes... a valid complaint -- but not a sue-able complaint.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 5:33 PM
AJ sed: "Yes, it should be able to be switched to a maintenece mode and manually unloaded..." To me, that is the basis for the claim...but that should be laid at the feet of Interactive, moreso than to the Strat.

The fact that the ops were less-than-sympathetic, and that the Strat has deep pockets, virtually ensure that there will be a settlement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 5:35 PM
I wonder if "Wendy's finger lady" is this kids mother...? I know they both are from Vegas and hispanic. Sadly, we only hear about "Wendy's finger lady." Apparently there is just not enough media time to address two frivolous lawsuits at one time out here. :-)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:28 PM
Is there something on the back of the ticket you buy that says rides my be closed or shut down in inclement weather or something? The ride shut down in windy weather. Sucks for them they were on it. Nothing went wrong, the ride did what it was suppose to. What can you sue about? Being stuck. Are you gonna sue the guy that crashed his car on the turnpike and blocked traffic for 3 hours? No your not. There staff may suck and were no help but you can't sue for poor service. Most they will get a refund!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:33 PM
We don't know that it's a "fact" that "the ops were less-than-sympathetic" or that they were even there for that matter. Come on, if you could sue for people ragging on you we'd all be rich before starting high school.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:34 PM
...and Beast Tamer would be a millionaire! ;)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:53 PM
Was the dad on a cellular phone? Was he hung up on, or did he lose his signal?

"A curfew is in place and is strictly enforced in Las Vegas. Children under 18 may not be out past 10 pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends unless accompanied by an adult."
I'm not sure of the definition of Adult.

The ops were out of line, completely out of line, however all Stratosphere needs to do is reprimand them, and show others where they tell their employees to be courteous to the 'guests' and that’s the end of that format of the lawsuit.

As for I.R., I think we'll be hearing more about them and this issue, unless I.R. cooperates this time.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:06 AM
Why not just sue Interactive for crappy design?

The ride should be designed to move back to the platform, and then shut off.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 2:20 AM
This just sounds like our sue happy society that we live in. It's pretty sad when the ride performed how it was supposed to and people are getting sued.
Thursday, April 28, 2005 8:41 AM
Right now we are in the "Sue you" genration. People will sue for anything these days and that is costing eveyone alot of money weather you realize it your not your effected by people sueing. Because people sue theme parks they need to have insurance which cost alot of $$$$ and in turn you pay higher food, games, addmission, and parking.

I think it is bull crap that these people are sueing because it was a saftey feature and I am sure that the ticket says on the back the rider rides at there own risk. Hopefully if the ride meet the standards this case will be dismissed.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 11:02 AM
Eighty minutes is way too long for them to have to "figure out" a way to get the ride back to the loading area. Especially for ride behavior that is supposed to be "normal", which really tends to show a design flaw in that it does not return the riders to the loading area before fully stopping.

They knew they had high winds, and getting the ride back to the loading area should have already been a planned and rehearsed emergency evacuation. Obviously it wasn't and all the PR speak out there basically translates to: we screwed up, please don't sue us. Well, at least that's what it says to me.

As for the ride ops laughing at them, I'm not surprised... some ops are teens or collegiates who only know, lock this, check that, push this button, wait this long, then push that button... ride cycle is done, next group of riders, repeat... they don't seem to realize how much responsibility is involved with that procedure. That's not to say that there aren't good operators out there, of course, but I seriously doubt the riders would have said that if it wasn't actually happening.

And I don't blame them for declining the free rides. I'll still ride someday, but I'll take into account the quality of the operators before I actually ride as well.

Whether that merits a high dollar lawsuit, well, let the judge decide. But no one can know what it actually felt like being stuck up there on that ride in the high winds unless they were on that ride when it stopped up there due to high winds.

I do think, though, that it would be a great lesson, though, to teach anyone opening a high risk ride--whther real or perceived--to get it right the first time, down to every little detail. Even the carnival companies do emergency training before they host a major county fair, and even roller-coasters have stuff like valley floors in preparation for an evacuation of any kind.*** This post was edited by RideSafety 4/28/2005 11:35:07 AM ***

Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:16 PM
What I don't get is that high winds don't kick up from 0 to 80 or whatever in the blink of an eye. They tend to build up higher and higher. This ride should have been shut down by the ride ops before it even got to the point where the ride would shut down on it's own.

And I don't understand your point either thecoasterguy. If the arm would break off being moved back to the platform, then the ride shouldn't be up there at all to begin with!!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:43 PM
Yes but I don't think it is the ride operators descion to close the ride it has to come from someone higher. Like at PKI they will a someone calling them on a telephone to close the ride.

Just because they may have gotton more of a scare than they wanted doesn't mean they need to sue. I mean they got of the ride alive and uninjured I think that needs to be enough.


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