Man injured on fair coaster with his hands up, operator blames rider
Posted Monday, January 26, 2004 8:14 AM | Contributed by supermandl
Florida's fair ride inspector reported last week that he found nothing wrong with the Doppel Looper double-looping roller coaster at the South Florida Fair. He inspected the coaster Sunday, a day after a Lantana man said his wrist and arm were broken as he held them over his head during the ride. Conklin Shows, which operates the ride, says that signs indicate to riders to keep their hands down. The rider says that's "unrealistic" expectation.
Hate to say this as much as I agree that it may be an "unrealistic" expectation, there were signs telling him to keep his hands down. I guess since he did not heed the warnings and ride the ride as instructed then it is his own fault he got hurt. Hope he does not think he can he begin to think he can sue them when he did not follow the instructions!
Admittedly, I keep my hands up too, but as a recent posting (I believe here) was talking about, there are a number of coasters that I'll pull them down on when it looks like I'm getting a little close.
The thing that worries me the most is, if this guy gets his way, we might start seeing constrictive OTSR's on rides that don't really need them, just to keep our hands down.
"His attorney, Craig Goldenfarb, noted that the fair's literature depicts people riding the coaster, hands in the air."
There has been discussion in the past about Cedar Fair's (or at least Cedar Point's) policy of not showing riders with hands in the air for official video and photos. This is the first time I've actually seen that excuse used by a lawyer. *** This post was edited by Gemini 1/26/2004 9:34:46 AM ***
For all of CP's paranoia, it looks like their caution is justified (though hands down makes for photos of people that don't look nearly as excited).
The guy hasn't said that he'll sue yet, though he's obviously thinking about if it he has a lawyer. I don't know... if I was on a jury the guy's attorney would need to make a compelling case based on existing case law that showed he should not be held responsible for his own actions.
This strikes me as an open and shut case, which he'd be pretty daft to take to court. He's implicitly admitted to having seen the sign and disregarded it-having stated that he thought it was unrealistic-. If a park tells you to keep your hands down, there is probably a damn good reason for it!!
Anyway, it's not his place to decide whether a park's rules of conduct on a ride constitute "reasonable expectations" or not. They are saftey rules; not open to interpretation by the general public.
Besides, it is exactly this kind of litgation of this kind that makes parks edgy and err on the side of caution with their rider conduct rules.
Best, B*** This post was edited by BeyondOblivion 1/26/2004 10:27:44 AM ***
I like how the inspector claims at the end of the article that the rider would have to be leaning way out of the car. What I suspect this guy did was have his hands out to the side, not straight up. I've seen too many people carelessly flailing their arms to the sides while riding. That is how I learned my lesson many years ago when my fingertips got accainted to the sheet metal inside of the helix tunnel riding The Beast. Overhead clearances are usually a lot more than lateral ones.*** This post was edited by Thrillerman 1/26/2004 10:58:45 AM ***
Good call... he had to have his hands and arms extended in an unusual way. This coaster design has been around for more than two decades, and if there was a serious issue with the design, this kind of incident would have happened years ago, causing a slight modification to be made to this and the other two "Doppel Loopers" out there (Dorney's Lazer and Lagoon's Fire Dragon). You can't tell me that this guy managed to do something that NO ONE else was able to do with his hands straight up!
If the guy was leaning way out of the car, then he deserves no sympathy. But don't criticize him for "ignoring the warning signs". Every roller coaster has warnings about putting your hands up, and yet virtually everyone has ignored them at some point. The MF ride-ops tell you to keep your hands down, yet almost everyone in the train holds them straight up. So don't act like it is a crime to hold your hands up, because you all do it and you know it! Most coasters are designed to make sure that there are no points where anyone would be in danger of holding their hands up. That being said, I am tired of people suing over anything and everything, so I hope this guy doesn't go that route because legally he has no case.
I agree with Bakeman. I would be pretty freaking pissed if my wrist was broken while riding a coaster cause I had my hands out. IMO, either parks/ fairs need to enforce no hands up, or the rides need to be designed to be safe to stick your hands up, down or anywhere outside the car.
Bakerman: Why shouldn't we criticise him for deliberately breaking the rules and then *****ing about it when he falls foul of them.
As I said, it is NOT for the general public to interpret park rules. It's not practical for parks to start qualifying this rule by saying: "You may stick your arms out of the car in a vertical orientation, but you keep them within 10 degrees of this orientation at all times!" The rules have to be clear and unambigious; i.e. DO or DO NOT.
Basically, I'm of the opinion that you shouldn't break the rules in the first place. If you do, certainly don't have the audacity to make out it was somehow the park's fault; take some responsibility for your own actions.
Sorry to rant people, but it it really p*sses me off when people fall foul of their own bad conduct and then try and blame anyone but themselves!
IMO, the rider is at fault because he admits that he broke the rules. Unrealistic expectiations? Give me a freakin' break. If I got pulled over for driving 80 in a 65 mph zone, I could cry all I want about "unrealistic expectations", but in the end, I'd still be ticketed.
Of course the rider is at fault for intentionally failing to follow park rules. But of course i wouldnt be surprised if a jury gave him money because they are idiots. And i may be one of the few but i dont raise my arms when on a coaster and dont find how that increases the enjoyment of the ride
Like I said, he doesn't have a case and it is his fault for probably hanging out of the car too far. But the "arms down rule" is one that many people break, so don't act like it's crime to hold your hands up. I'm against this guy crying over it because the warnings are posted, I just don't think the people on this site should try to act like saints that never break the rules. The fact is nobody enforces it. In fact, Holiday World encourages it! I'm not on this guy's side, but most of you are making the wrong arguement.
I don't think that anyone is proclaiming themselves to be saints when it comes to not holding their arms up... the point that most of us are trying to make is that the guy was blatantly ignoring the posted rules and is wrong for complaining about what happened because he did so.
Here's what my attorney would say to me. "So you see everyone else breaking the rules, that means you should too? If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do the same thing?"
Two wrongs, don't make a right. Parks do a pretty good job of protecting us from ouselves. It's up to us to do the rest. Common sense is the key here. Obviously this guy doesn't possess any. I'm convinced he was not paying attention while riding in an open vehicle at high speeds. If this ends up in a lawsuit, the fair should file a countersuit. I think Judge Judy would be a great litigator here. I can hear her now....OIVAY.
edit I do feel bad this guy suffered an injury even if it was through his own doings. But...he ought to be thankful the outcome wasn't worse.*** This post was edited by Thrillerman 1/26/2004 4:03:04 PM ***