Kings Island attorney says woman suffered hip injury at work, not on Son of Beast

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

An attorney for Kings Island says the woman suing the park for injuries on Son of Beast is "exaggerating." He also says he has video showing her up and around despite her injuries, and that she made an injury claim at work after the accident.

Read more from WCPO/Cincinnati and The Oxford Press.

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So it was only 1.74 G's? That doesn't sound right.. it would mean everyone conspired. I don't know. Perhaps that's possible.
I just think if there was an incident, and punitive damages are due, than an award is o.k. Even as an enthusiast. Also, I'm alright with punitive damages being excessive, they are supposed to be excessive by definition. Do we have a lawyer in our presence to explain punitive damages? :)

Dave, I can't do the math, but you mentioned the helix/rose bowl as the place of failure. I thought it was the drop out of the brakes before the loop? It certainly wouldn't surprise me if something happened in the rose bowl section, but I thought it was on that specific drop. Of course, that may have been another unrelated incident on the ride.


Original BlueStreak64

The report on the failure, which I downloaded from the Cincinnati Enquirer web site shortly after it became available, indicated the point of failure as the middle leg of the shared bent at Bent #290 and #390. The diagrams and photos in the report show that if you look at the big "rose bowl" helix from the low point, the failure was about halfway up the right-hand side. That is to say, on the uphill side. Bent #290 is on the first pass (outer loop), Bent #390 is on the second pass (inner loop), and the post that failed is shared by both bents. Again, the report describes in great detail the mechanics of the failure, and goes into a lot of detail about what failed and why it failed, but it is also very careful not to draw any conclusions about the dynamic impact (so to speak) of the failure on the ride, indicating that it would require some complex modeling which is beyond the scope of the report. My analysis on the previous page is over-simplified back-of-the-envelope figuring that should not be trusted under any circumstances. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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aerodynamic, what's your definition of punitive damages, since you think they're OK? And what's your address?-- I feel the sudden urge to walk up and down a stretch of sidewalk.

Bear, I'll bring a snow gun from (hopefully) my new job. Plus, Aero's in Okadale, MN, according to his profile.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

rollergator's avatar

Thanks for handling that, Dave. I thought the link was relatively self-explanatory in terms of addressing "relative forces". The fact that is also serves as an advertisement for seatbelts turned out to be an unexpected bonus (one of the many benefits/consequences of the School of Public Health - everything in life is "for your own good"). ;)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Carrie M.'s avatar

Uh, before we jump on Aero about punitive damages... he doesn't have to define it. It's defined by the courts. It's a real thing that exists and under certain circumstances it can be awarded to plaintiffs. The jury gets to decide if they pertain to this circumstance.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

rollergator's avatar

Punitive to me implies that CF/KI knew there was a problem and decided to wait until/unless it caused a problem. THe ride passed SAtate inspection, and I find it nigh-impossible to believe that any documentation exists that shows that: 1) CF/KI knew there was a potential safety issue, AND 2) did nothing to correct the problem.

Punitive damages are intended to punish bad behavior. I just don't see any way on Earth that the plaintiff can show there was a previously-existing known safety issue that directly led to the incident in question. Not saying the plaintiff(s) can't ask - "no harm in asking", etc.

Carrie M.'s avatar

I believe in general punitive damages come into play when the gross negligence is so bad that compensatory damages don't seem to cut it. They may come into play also when the compensatory damages aren't enough to curb bad behavior in the future... like when the defendant has so much money he/she hardly notices the loss. I don't know, though, because I'm not a lawyer.

I would imagine there are circumstances when they are more than reasonable, however. (Like with the Lasitter case.) But this doesn't seem like one to me, either, Gator.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff for injuries/losses/damages incurred as a result of the incident. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant as a way of deterring the defendant (and others in the same industry) from repeating the conduct that caused the injuries. In some ways, punitives are a windfall to the plaintiff (and to plaintiff's counsel to the extent there is a contingent fee) because they have already been compensated for their injuries. But the money needs to go somewhere.

Don't know enough about this case to have an opinion as to whether punitive damages are appropriate. But I would think it would take more than just the typical negligence/ride injury case for punitives to be awareded. Juries often times do not understand punitive damages and punitive damage awards are often rejected/reduced by the judge.

rollergator's avatar

^^The Lassiter case may indeed have been one where punitive damages seemed warranted. Based on the best available evidence, the rules regarding the "care and feeding of an Intamin drop ride" as stated in the owner's manual were quite different from those employed at the park. The size of the cable notwithstanding, there were several areas which pointed unfavorably toward the park's *knowingly* failing to properly maintain (and potenatially equip) the ride.

Gator, I think the blame goes farther than just the park on that one. I think there's quite a lot to be said about the indifference of the State (through its inspectors) in that particular incident based upon what I got from reading the final report on that.

In this case, based only upon the little that I know, I would venture the opinion that punitive damages are not really appropriate here.


Original BlueStreak64

Well regardless the outcome of this case, will son of beast reopen in 2010 or become a bon fire?

The case has been settled.


So in other words, Once the Jury decided the park was liable. CF ponied up some cash to keep it from going public.

Kinda told ya so.
Chuck

Carrie M.'s avatar

I don't really think the park's liability was even in question. It was admitted by CF right from the st art.

My guess would be once the jury determined the plaintiff was entitled to $76K in compensatory damage (meaning her injuries were due to the accident and not a subsequent work issue), then they settled before the issue of punitive damages could be decided. In other words, they were losing the monetary battle and stopped things before they were found responsible for paying even more than they wanted.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

It would be interesting to learn how the compensatory award compares to the original offer. Pity we will never know.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

Jeff's avatar

Liability was never the issue, as best I can tell. I think they were reaching for some claim of negligence, which I suspect would be harder to prove, if that were in fact the basis for seeking punitive damages.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

RatherGoodBear said:
aerodynamic, what's your definition of punitive damages, since you think they're OK? And what's your address?-- I feel the sudden urge to walk up and down a stretch of sidewalk.

Sorry, Jeff I chose to quote here.

RatherGoodBear, your asking me to define my definition?

I had said...
"I'm alright with punitive damages being excessive, they are supposed to be excessive by definition."

Punitive damages are excessive by exceeding a pain and suffering award and they are also usually excessive in size so as to deter further similar litigation in our courts by setting a precedent. And yes, I think that is OK. I believe it serves our system well.

Well, I guess the fun is over. They settled confidentially. So what exactly happened do you think? Did CF settle to avoid a headlining punitive damage award? Or was the defendant persuaded to the idea that gross negligence would be too difficult to prove? Since CF has had a history of events and investments with the ride it seems like the company could be seen as both pro-active on the side of safety or harboring a Son of a Beast.
I'm unbiased As I stated on the parallel thread. http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Thread/56615.aspx?page=2 And undecided. But it would have been fun to see it fleshed out more.

Oh, and thanks for the peacekeeping Carrie M.!

Its pure assumption but I think she at least got what she wanted if not more to settle. After the decision was handed out. It was only CF that stood to loose who knows how much the jury would award her?

CF made the deal to CONTROL THE OUTCOME.
Chuck, captain obvious

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