Six Flags Worlds of Adventure sued for 2000 Villain accident

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2004 11:32 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A Wisconsin woman who was struck in the head by a thrown object while riding Villain at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure has filed a suit against the park for her injuries. The suit says that the park knew people had thrown objects in the path of the ride prior to the accident.

Read more from The Akron Beacon Journal.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 11:33 AM
Jeff's avatar I'm not a bit surprised by the action, but I am surprised it took so long.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 11:41 AM
The question is "thrown" by who(m)? If it was a cell phone that was ejected from a fellow passenger, like the woman thought it was in the first place, then the park is not liable. If it was a patron from outside the ride perimeter throwing a rock, well, that may be another story. In my court, this would be thrown out, but unfortunetly there are no more "accidents" in this country nowadays... our society says someone is always at fault.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 12:17 PM
I thought I read somewhere that the park has installed some type of barrier fence or netting since the accident. Anyone know?

There were complaints back in the 80's of people throwing rocks at the Double Loop from either the picnic area or the road. I don't know how liable the park can be for something like that. If a part had fallen off the train and hit her that would be one thing.

If someone throws a rock from an overpass does the victim sue the Department of Transportation?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 12:38 PM
Jeff's avatar I totally hold them responsible. You can walk along that sidewalk and toss anything in there. The area can only be seen from the road, which isn't that well traveled, so there's no protection in the form of surveilance. It was stupid to put that path in there at all. It had been going on prior to the accident and they made no measurable effort to stop it.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 12:46 PM
Still, how does that make the park responsible. If a bird flies near TTD during an launch, does this make CP responsible if a person get injured?
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 12:50 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar It makes them responsible in the sense that they were aware of the problem. That's probably what the whole lawsuit will come down to in the end. Was SFWOA aware of the issue. If so, they're at fault.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 12:59 PM
I fail to see how the park can be held responsible. I'm sure some sauvy lawyer may convince a jury otherwise but the only one I can see who is responsible would be the person who actually threw the rock, if that is in fact what happened. Short of posting gaurds there the entire time the park is open I don't really see what could be done. As for the bird thing Woodyman, didn't Fabio try to sue BG after getting whacked by the duck. I think it was the parks fault they put the coaster near the flight path of the ducks if I remember correctly. Accidents happen people. To me the SF incident would best be resolved by prosecuting the individual who threw the rock as opposed to suing someone who could only do very little to prevet the incident from happening.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 1:06 PM
That path is now closed. The area (a picnic) area has been there from the GL days. After this incident the park closed that area up and there is no access to non park employees. It is a place they now store the old RWB trains. The new picnic area is under a canopy in the rides lot.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 1:17 PM
I am reminded of the boardwalk along Maggie at CP. It would be simple to throw a rock at the train for basically the entire length of the ride without anyone noticing you. Would the park be expected to erect netting or somthing like that the entire way to prevent rocks from being thrown?

I guess it will come down to due care. With the jury system the way it is today I am sure the park will settle out of court.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 1:21 PM
Pete's avatar I don't entirely agree that the park is responsible for this. It is actually a case of assault, similar to someone getting hit by a rock while walking down the sidewalk.

This is really a case for the local police dept., who should have investigated and monitored the area to try to catch the criminals. To say the park is responsible because they failed to anticipate a criminal act is stretching things a bit. Though, if they knew that there were people actively throwing objects, they perhaps should have closed the ride until the people were caught.

Still, Six Flags didn't do anything to this woman, heartless criminals did.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 2:16 PM
mlariccy, you're correct about the park closing the path off, but it wasn't after the incident. I remember in 2002 people walking back there with coolers and bags with food. However this year, the path was closed and didn't open up at all.

As far as the woman goes, it was an unfortunate that she got hit and sustained injury, but like people have said before, she should sue the person(s) that threw the object rather than the SF

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 3:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

Short of posting gaurds there the entire time the park is open I don't really see what could be done.
You mean beside closing off the path entirely?

Sure, the same case could be made for Magnum on the beach (though there's more distance there, where as Villain you can actually touch the wood railing next to the track), but there is no history with this happening at Magnum. With Villain, there was, and that's why she's going to win her case. It's the park's job to keep the rider safe, and sometimes that means protecting the rider from stupid people. If this wasn't the case, low zones wouldn't be surrounded by fences.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 3:45 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Regardless of how "right or wrong" it seems to sue the park - that's the way the law works.

Jeff summed it up nicely in the post above this one.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 4:40 PM
The park already won a lawsuit similair to this about a year and a half ago, they'll probably win this one too.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 4:46 PM
After the first instance, the park did put up additional fencing to try and prevent it from happening again. Obviously it didn't do any good, so the park ended up closing the picnic area and moving it to my favorite parking area in their lot. Sad that our society has degraded to such a level that some people have no common sense anymore. (Throwing rocks off interstate overpasses is another example of this type of behavior) I'll say one thing though. it's only a matter of time before this happens again at another park. There are far too many rides out there where this could happen. Too many to name here in this post.*** This post was edited by Thrillerman 1/14/2004 4:49:37 PM ***
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 5:05 PM
I do not know much about this inicident. However, if what xflight says is true, the park might have more liability for this accident. In order for the park to be liable they either had to know of the problem or should have known of the problem. If the park had been sued previously for a similar accident, it would be hard for them to argue they didn't know that people were throwing rocks.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 5:48 PM
Here is the big question? What happened to the owner of the cell phone? When will the beatings take place?
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 6:07 PM
jkpark's avatar I wish they would catch the idiot(s) that was throwing the rocks.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004 6:12 PM
I say we put the culprits on the ride and then have target practice ourselves. ;) Seriously, the park did try to alleviate the problem. They were very strict with loose items for the longest time. They still are somewhat, but I've been able to ride wearing shades as of lately. It just upsets me because this park doesn't need crap like this to happen. I swear, people can be so stupid and selfish sometimes. This was a planned, malicious act. It didn't happen by accident (although I'm not sure about the cellphone incident). Those that are found responsible should be permanently banned from going to any park.
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