Kemah Boardwalk lawsuit settled, described as "nuisance claim" by owner

Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 9:47 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A lawsuit has been settled over a problem at a popular roller coaster ride on the Kemah Boardwalk. Five juveniles sued over injuries they received while on the Boardwalk Bullet. The owner describes it as a "friendly lawsuit" that amounts to a "nuisance claim."

Read more from KTRK/Houston.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 9:58 AM

Something just doesn't add up with the claims of the teenagers.

"While riders climbed down, the lawsuit states the kids suffered neck and back injuries and one girl ended up with a bruise on her face."

How do you get a black eye walking down the steps on a roller coaster?

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Monday, March 19, 2012 10:01 AM

Yeah, something is missing from this account. It also sounds like the insurance company just wanted to make it go away, which unfortunately means that people can get away with crap.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 11:42 AM

Yeah, I read that story multiple times to try to figure it out. The ride stops and I expected some arm type problems from bracing from it. But no it says they got all these problems from walking down the ride. And the picture shows the girl with a black eye. Did she not see and hit a beam or did some kind of fight break out? Definitely lots of items missing from this story and wonder what all really happened. I stopped the video and see where the document shown states that they were "hanging sideways in the cars." Does this ride have any bank turns that great of a degree?

Last edited by CoasterDaddy, Monday, March 19, 2012 11:46 AM
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Monday, March 19, 2012 3:11 PM

I think the ride may have stopped suddenly mid-ride. That may account to some bruising...

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Monday, March 19, 2012 9:55 PM

Well that was my first thought, but they seem to state the issues occurred getting down from the ride. I can see getting beat up by a sudden stop. Heck, SOB would beat you up just leaving the station.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 11:20 PM

Straight from the website of one of the biggest personal injury "shark" law firms in the northeast.

http://www.beasleyfirm.com/premises-liability-lawyers/amusement-park/

Do a Google search and there are plenty more out there.

This issue is that personal injury attorneys are slowly learning to manipulate the reality of how our industry actually operates, they are getting good at aggressively seeking out injury victims for quick settlements and payouts.

Often, injured parties are being first contacted by the attorney….not the other way around! It’s a shame.

The “assumption of risk” still has little merit in the amusement industry and there are law firms out there that continue to take advantage of sympathetic jury pools. It is no secret that because of the high cost of litigation, insurance companies have no choice to settle early, even for small, or sometimes nonexistent claims.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 11:32 PM

^That stuff is really ridiculous. Stuff is going backwards now, De-vo lution, indeed.

It's a shame that the Amusement industry is to blame. Maybe I should go slip at the mall or something.... everyone seems to be doing it.

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Monday, March 19, 2012 11:38 PM

Here's another gem for you and illustrates what the industry is up against...

http://www.beasleyfirm.com/hayride-accidents/

Seriously....you guys know this industry pretty well. Did you have any idea that hayrides were such a serious safety issue?

Here lies the problem with our legal system with respect to the amusement industry....

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 4:27 PM

Someone is using the American legal system to file a nuisance claim?

Who'd have thought?!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:16 PM

The bad thing is that the insurer didn't do what Disney did last year: push the case to court, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it's a spurious claim, and embarrass the crap out of the plaintiff. So long as the insurers simply roll over and settle, these attorneys will bring these simple cases.

The trouble is, in order to end it, there will be bad press, and probably blood.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:33 PM

^What happened at Disney, Dave?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 5:44 PM

The best part about those ads is Beasley and the other asshat lawyers depict all these businesses as being greedy and uncaring about people. You can just picture the drool dripping from their jowls as you read their websites, salivating over how much money they're going to win. Oh yeah, their clients, whats-their-names will get a few bucks too. I bet if that gal with the black eye's attorney saw her tomorrow anywhere near his Beemer, he'd pump lead into her and have no clue who she was.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 7:00 PM

Better call Saul.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:15 PM

Thanks Vater, now I'm mising me some Breaking Bad.

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 8:16 PM
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:36 AM

CoasterDemon said:
^What happened at Disney, Dave?

Does the name Barry Novack ring any bells? He's an attorney out of Beverly Hills who has made a career out of extorting settlements out of amusement parks. Well, he took on a client who took a ride on the Tower of Terror ride in 1998 and suffered a stroke a few weeks later. In 2002, he filed a suit alleging that the normal ride action of the Tower of Terror ride was responsible for the man's injuries. Disney took that one to court and in May of 2010, the jury ruled in Disney's favor.

Orlando Sentinel article

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 4:30 PM

^Didn't know the name, but thanks for the info, Dave.

Seemed like the kind of situation where someone may have been too frail to ride the ride. That does happen... But there is a certain amount of - what do you call it - I mean, the ride does move and is supposed to thrill you.

I racked myself on the Haunted House at Knoebel's when I tensed up while being startled by some crazy scene popping out at me... I didn't sue. I also was ...hmm... *crushed* with a lap bar on Superman at SFNE by an overzealous employee back in 2006. It was bad, real bad. Had to go to first aid and stuff... Maybe I should have sued... (I'm joking.. but it was bad).

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 5:56 PM

More likely, in the Disney case, the ride had *nothing at all* to do with the man's injury. Disney knew it was a slam-dunk case, because they have all the data about what it takes to cause brain injuries (thanks to the Exponent/Six Flags study some years ago), all the data on the performance of their ride, and enough sense to understand how to interpret it. That's why they decided to take it to court instead of settling.

I wonder if the experience has made Mr. Novack any more selective about the cases he accepts...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:14 PM

Isn't there some code of conduct with lawyers - where they take a case if they believe they can win it, whether or not they think it's a moral thing, or something fishy like that.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:22 PM

No, you're thinking of Batman.

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