Knott's sued over aneurysm death on Montezooma's Revenge

Posted Monday, August 12, 2002 4:48 AM | Contributed by Snoopy

Relatives of a woman who died of a brain hemorrhage after riding the Montezooma's Revenge roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm last August have sued the amusement park and its owner. Although Justine Bolia (also known as Gafudji Mekanisi), 20, had a pre-existing aneurysm, a weak spot in a blood vessel, the lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday claims the ride was unsafe and caused her death. The coroner's office attributed the death of the woman, a visitor from Africa, to a ruptured aneurysm, and the state Division of Occupational Safety & Heath concluded that the ride was operating properly at the time.

Read more from the Orange County Register.

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Monday, August 12, 2002 4:51 AM

"Amusement parks have rushed to put out these vigorous rides without studying the potential health hazards," he said.


And to this point, what, 30 million rides have been given on that ride and it's dangerous? Um, OK. It's sad the woman died, and I can understand that they're angry, but you can't fault the park for this. I hope they don't settle and go to court.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM

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Monday, August 12, 2002 5:17 AM

had a pre-existing aneurysm

That says it all. How could there possibly be a case here?
So she didn't follow the warning sign that was most likely posted at the ride?
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Monday, August 12, 2002 5:24 AM
She may have not know about the "pre existing condition" when she got on the ride (sometimes they are only found during the autopsy)... and the warning sign would have meant nothing to her.

Did the ride trigger the bursting of the aneurysm? Probably. Was it because the ride was dangerous? No. As stated so many times before, bending over to tie a shoe, sneezing, jumping off a curb, a sudden stop in a car, riding even a kiddie coaster... if an aneurysm is weak enough to burst, any of these things are just as likely to cause it to burst.

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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"


*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 8/12/2002. ***

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Monday, August 12, 2002 6:21 AM

Exacly Jeff. That's kinda like what I said in the other topic about this. "So they rushed the installation of MR causing one person in 24 years to die" So how could it have been rushed.

And how could it be running poorly? Theres no way they could be doing anything wrong that would've caused that type of death.

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Six Flags, the only chain of parks that can manage to have stacking with a one train operation.

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Monday, August 12, 2002 6:36 AM
I'm glad they rushed to install Monte just for her!!! :-)
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Monday, August 12, 2002 7:00 AM
Obviously the death of a young person is tragic, but also so is the abuse of the legal system. I wonder if she had sneezed at the dinner table, would they have sued McCormick for their dangerous pepper?

Riding rollercoasters involves some degree of risk, So does everything else in life. Living a sedentary life in a padde cell carries a great risk that the lack of activity will shorten your life.

Accidents caused by negligence on the part of the park or ride manufacturer are one thing. Deaths due to preexisting medical conditions that are time bombs just waiting for a slight trigger are another. *** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 8/12/2002. ***

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Monday, August 12, 2002 7:38 AM
I too am sorry for the loss of a life but, I really can't see how the park is at fault.
Like Jim said, riding coasters involves some degree of risk, as does everything else in life.
Also, every park I have ever visted has warning signs at all of the rides.
I would love to see the park win this suit in court but, chances are that they will just settle the case because anything can happen when you go to court and sometimes even when it seems like you should win the case you don't.
One case that blows my mind was when some women sued a fast food chain because she slipped and broke her tail bone on the floor. The reason she slipped was because SHE threw her soda at her boyfriend and it got the floor wet. She actually won the case.
I wish people were not so quick to sue others. It's kinda sad if you ask me.
*** This post was edited by jgfama on 8/12/2002. ***
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Monday, August 12, 2002 8:17 AM

I can only reflect the sentiments allready expressed. As noted there is an extremely important distinction between a pre-existing condition being trigered by a ride and a ride precipitating an injury. If this case suceeds, it creates a very dangerous precedent which wil be fully exploited by Senator Markey and co.

Just out of curiosity don't most parks have an exclusion clause in the terms and conditions associated with the purchase of a ticket that makes them exempt from any such actions, unless they are the result of negligence on the parks part?

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Monday, August 12, 2002 8:25 AM
Sure, she may have not known about it, thus the sign is no good. But as I and others implied, since it was pre-existing, the ride can't be claimed unsafe.
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Monday, August 12, 2002 8:39 AM

Well, it could be claimed unsafe, as there is a certain degree of subjectiveness to that term, but unless a judge and jury is on crack, there's no way the park could be found negligent. That to me is how you win a case like this, prove that the park didn't do everything they could to make sure it was safe. I don't think there's any doubt that they did make sure it was safe, and the woman's death was totally out of their control.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM

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Monday, August 12, 2002 10:23 AM

a ride's gravitational forces "are strong enough that your brain is going to be deformed enough to hurt it, you'll realize it. And that's not what happens on a roller coaster."

Shut up. All these cases are beginning to sound the same to me. I really hate them, so I'm not really going to comment on this one. You and I know the truth. I just hope it goes to court and Knott's points out that the ride opened in THE 70'S! Stupid lawyers.

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Monday, August 12, 2002 10:35 AM

Like I've said so many times before........

This is a case of a lawyer who convinces a grieving family to file a frivolous lawsuit because he knows that the parks will most likely settle out of court (right or wrong) and he gets an easy commission.

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I've traded in my 2000 Giovanola for a 2002 Arrow X4D :)
My other car is now an Arrow X4D!

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Monday, August 12, 2002 11:12 AM

She could have croaked with the next sneeze.

This is not a liability issue for Knott's. This is some more opportunistic morons aided and abetted by slimeball attorneys.

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Monday, August 12, 2002 11:14 AM
30 Million just on Monte but add in how many on the Montes Brothers to get off alive

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Aughhh look out there are Mice all around

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Monday, August 12, 2002 11:21 AM

Haux, first off you took the quote out of context. The head injury expert was saying that *if* the rides gravitational forces were strong enough to deform the brain then you would know it, and thats *not* what happens on a rollercoaster. He is pro-coaster - why are you telling him to "shut up"?

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The Other Siebert

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Monday, August 12, 2002 11:23 AM

Because it's trendy to jump on a bandwagon and say things like "stupid lawyers," even though it doesn't get to the core of the issue.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM

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Monday, August 12, 2002 12:00 PM
Kind of a little off topic but last Wednesday I was inline for Ghostrider around 9:30 and shortly after this girl (age 12 or so) got off she fainted and fell and cracked her head open on the station floor near those steps towards the back of the station. It didn't look too good. She awoke about 5 min or so after she fainted and the EMS people took her down the steps. The ride immediately began operation following the incident. I'm surprised there has been no news about suing in this case.

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"This time I think ... I think it's ... it's going to work!" - Dr.Bruce Banner

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Monday, August 12, 2002 12:09 PM

Personally I don't think this is a "safety" issue. Once again, it's a way to get money from a big corporation. I doubt very much this will go to court. They will get their money and happily go their way.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Monday, August 12, 2002 1:05 PM

Canadas Coaster Drew, looks like I need to read more closely. Or go to bed earlier. haha.

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