Great America blames girl in Cajun Cliffhanger accident
Posted Sunday, February 4, 2001 4:08 AM | Contributed by Chitown
[late post] Illinois park Six Flags Great America is going to defend itself in court over an incident where a girl's foot was crushed in a Rotor-type ride. If she would have followed the rules, the park says. this incident would not have happened.
Some girl went on one of those rides that is shapes like a flying saucer and you spin. I think she wore sandals. When the ride went down 2 inces or something like that, she put her foot in between it and when it came back up she got her toes cut off. -------- Jack, who can't wait for Opening Day 2001...
I couldn't imagine how much pain she had to be in. But I do believe it was her fault. I feel alot of people live in a fantasy land alot and donnot realize how easily something like this can happen on a ride. ride ops can only do so much, people have to keep themselves safe too.
it'll be a tough case. in order to disprove neglegence, SFGA will need to show that the girl was at least as neglegent or more neglegent than the park. The park must also defend themselves by proving that they in fact did meet their duty of providing safety from injury to the invitee of average prudence. my guess is that there will be a settlement fairly soon.
The ride didn't cut off her toes! Later, after the incident, she had to have at least one of her toes surgically removed. However, the ride in and of itself didn't chop off any of her toes. A surgeon performed that act, not the ride.
Maybe these rides need some kind of safety sensor that would automatically stop the floor if it senses an object in the way. I know it's possible because we have such a device on a retractable stage at the theatre I work at. I guess the major problem would be the cost with retrofitting these old rides, but I'm sure it's a lot cheaper than a lawsuit.
i used to run the elecric rainbow rotor ride at americana and there's a reason why you follow the directions. people used to think that us ride ops were idiots by telling them to keep their legs and arms inside the cages, but they dont listen. SFGA has a really valid argument and i think they should fight this one all the way if they have to. remember folks, if you dont obey the park rules and safety measures, you're the one responsible for your own actions. ok i think i've lectured enough.....
------------- Steel aint better, wood forever!! SRM VII: May 11.....be there, or be ... well, not there.
I don't understand how her feet could get stuck between the floor and the wall. I've been on the ride a couple of times and haven't noticed a whole lot of room to get toes stuck. in any case, sfgam should fight. unless there's an easier way out, sfgam shouldn't take responsibility at all. it was the girl's fault all the way.
It was that stupid girls falut. Whenever im on that ride i always hear the ops warning about moving behind the yellow line. If this girl didn't it was her own falut. It made me so mad that they had to close down probably the best flat ride in the park because of some stupid kid! Its a perfectly safe ride, and after SFGAm paid off those people from the Demon accident i saw this comming. Acctually the ride should be perfectly safe with sandals as long as you follow the safty rules.
The park after all should be enforcing those rules regarding footwear on this ride, also a ride operator should have their eye on the ride and should have noticed the girl in an improper riding position. An operator had to raise that floor to meet the girls feet.
It's going to be a tough decision for a jury to decide. Both sides have a good argument. I say the rider is to blame, but the accident could have been prevented by the op.
------------- Richie Anderson Millennium Force TL 2001
First of all, exactly what are the restrictions on that ride? I've not ridden a Rotor myself (which is what we're talking about here...not a Gravitron, not a Round-Up, not a UFO), but I have seen one in action and first of all I don't think footwear would have been an issue, and second, I still don't understand how she managed to get her foot caught. Until we understand exactly how the incident happened, there really isn't any way for us to evaluate whether the park has any valid defense in this case.
Also, a word about the Super Round-Up, SOB Fanatic, as I had a minor altercation on that ride a couple of seasons ago at Americana. I got yelled at because, during the ride, I lifted both feet, bent my legs, and put my feet on the back of the ride tub. The poorly trained operator on duty that day (I'm CERTAIN it wasn't you) was unaware that bending your knees on that ride and either lifting your feet or lowering your body is a perfectly valid tactic for preventing the onset of G-LOC on that ride. In fact, some parks make certain to tell riders about that when the ride starts.
I found one thing surprising, and somewhat upsetting, in the article- the fact that it is considered "risky" on Great America's part to defend themselves in this lawsuit. I guess that statement confirms the state of the amusement industry today when it comes to lawsuits- the fact that parks are just supposed to roll over and give in to anyone who brings up a suit against them. While I feel bad for the girl who got hurt on the ride, I applaud Great America for taking a stand and not letting everyone get away with these lawsuits.
There is a certain risk involved with just about anything you do nowadays, and while I believe that neglegence in the amusement industry is worthy of a lawsuit, a disregard for the rules is not. If everyone who sues a park walks away with money in their pockets, there will be no amusement parks left in another decade!
I don't have the specs in front of me, but there is NOT a one foot gap between the floor and the wall on a Rotor. Two, two and a half inches maybe. There is not an inspector out that would clear that ride to operate with a one foot gap.
*** This post was edited by Dutchman on 2/6/2001. ***