lawsuits changing the industry?

Monday, June 23, 2003 1:30 PM
I'm no lawyer, but with our society becoming more litigious every day one has to wonder what impact lawsuits have on the amusement industry besides an increase in insurance premiums.

The person suing a park after being struck by lightning in the parking lot??

I often hear people complaining of getting bruises on certain wooden rollercoasters. The general public is different from enthusiasts. I say its all part of a great rollercoaster...while the GP would say it is "unsafe". Everytime I ride a wooden coaster and feel new trims I have to wonder if they have been added to tame the ride for a fickle GP...not to limit wear and tear as the ride ages.

Monday, June 23, 2003 1:37 PM
I don't know...I think if the effect were really large, we wouldn't see coasters like Top Thrill Dragster being built.

Anyway, there are always going to be people who'd like to profit from misfortune. It's up to our judges to throw out the cases that have no merit. Of course lawyers and plaintiffs will always try to push the edges of the system. Seems the only people who can really do anything about it are judges. How do you legislate for this? You try to make it rigid, and someone with a legitimate case might end up out of luck. I don't know...

"It's not a Too-mah!" - Arnold after riding Batman the Ride
*** This post was edited by janfrederick 6/23/2003 5:38:17 PM ***

Monday, June 23, 2003 1:59 PM
Right on in your assessment! Wear and tear is a part of the trimming, but lawsuits are a huge factor. Not that the park will ever be honest about it. Why do you think most coasters today have such wide transitions and a large curve radius plus track angles on most turns? MF is a great coaster due to its speed, but did you ever take a look at how wide all the transitions are (this is just an example not a MF bash---I love this ride)? There is a reason for this type of design. This limits g forces and thus potential injury forces to the body. Some would argue that this also limits the fun factor! I will argue this if you would like me to! :-) BM (my favorite steel company) is known for smooth transitions that limit g forces for any prolonged time period. They still have great rides, but they do not offer the strong g-forces that could make a great ride classic by turning up the intensity. There is a fine line between intensity and fun factor which differs from individual to individual. Wooden coasters normally get their fun factor from the g-forces created by speed coupled with track angles and length of the turn radius. Once the ride is built, it is cost-prohibitive to change the radius of the turns and track angles. Occasionally their are major track reprofilings (Rattler comes to mind), but trims are usually the solution of choice. There are countless examples of great coasters that were tamed through the trim (Beast, Mean Streak (maybe it never was a great coaster---but it was a lot better than the pathetic present state), most California woodies except Ghostrider and the Dippers, etc.)! You should always try to ride any coaster, but especially wooden coasters in their first year of existence before maintenance crews and lawyers ruin the ride experience. Most park legal issues never reach the public's attention. Settlements are the norm. This is the society we have created. Remember that the next time you vote (if you are old enough to vote)! Judges and lawyers are out of control in many areas of society. You don't think about it too much, until they start messing with the things you love. This has been going on with rollercoasters for quite some time now. It is only going to get worse though! The slippery slope started a long time ago! JMHO!
Give me wood or give me B&M! :-)
(sadly down to 319 and rising---after removing 10 or so double posts from my track record)
Monday, June 23, 2003 4:53 PM
There is a big difference between transition and g-force. Poor transitions, such as those found on older Arrow and Vekoma rides, add nothing to the ride except for unnecessary headbanging. Millennium Force, which has very smooth transitions, has several spots with very strong g-forces. Goliath, which is also an extremely smooth coaster, is known for g-forces that cause many people to gray out.

Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online
"We find that people don't pay any attention to what's underneath the ride."--SFMM Rep discussing Scream! as quoted in AT
Monday, June 23, 2003 7:51 PM
Lawsuits have already changed the industry, past tense. If you think getting bruises are all part of a great ride, you're sick.
If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
Monday, June 23, 2003 8:18 PM
I Fan, I get bruised on Twister, Legend, and Magnum and love every moment of it. I am very sick.


Tuesday, June 24, 2003 4:38 AM
Lawsuits are affecting more than the theme park industry. I work for a municipality and we get a couple of calls a week from people fishing for money. They call b/c a tree branch fell off a swale tree and hit their car. They call b/c they slipped on a wet sidewalk (rain does that, you know) and they call for a lot of other ridiculous reasons.

Many lawyers, like many unions, have passed their usefull life.


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