Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2004 7:54 AM | Contributed by supermandl
A case involving a surgeon who claims he was injured due to faulty maintenance at Walt Disney Co.'s California Adventure amusement park is set to go to trial as soon as next week, the doctor's lawyer said on Tuesday. Marc Feldman filed the lawsuit in June 2002 on behalf of David Heber, a surgeon who claims he was seriously injured in August 2001 because a safety restraint was not properly lowered and lubricated on the California Screamin' roller coaster.
Read more from Reuters.
It takes a LOOOONG time to become a surgeon. I can't think of a profession that takes a longer time to get into. You are going to be older when you begin, and then it takes time to build up a reputation and a practice. 57 is probably about right for prime time career wise for a surgeon. Whether or not he really suffered a soft-tissue injury is something I don't know.
And guess what...it isn't the surgeon who's an expert on ride maintenance. His lawyer will have hired industry "experts" to give advice and to testify. Whether they are bending the truth, stretching it, or if Disney's maintenance is really slipshod is something else I don't know.
I guess I feel badly that you seem to be automatically siding with the theme park, and don't even consider the fact that there MIGHT have been some bad maintenance, and someone might have actually gotten hurt. Rides break down all the time. If the maintenance doesn't keep the ride up and running, why is it so hard to believe that maintenance on a safety device might have been a problem? I'm not saying that it was, I'm allowing for the possiblitity that it might. Think about that the next time you ride. In between thinking about the possibility of brain hemorrage from being banged around, or blood clots forming in your legs during high -g rides, and causing a stroke, or the possibility that someone will be smoking a joint in line, and when the police jump him, you, an innocent bystander, are injured....or the possiblity of a micrometeorite falling to earth and killing you just as you reach the head of the line for that great new ride...
The lawsuit was filed in 2002, so you can't really think that the guy's trying to cash in on the BTM incident. He's trying to cash in alright, and it will more than likely be used in the case they put forward, but it's the media who have taken to following this case, as a result of BTM.
Heber claims he was violently jolted, causing whiplash and an ongoing neurological disorder that forced him to give up his career as a surgeon.
Okay, it was either on the launch, or somewhere on the course or the brake run. The actual course of the ride is silky smooth start to finish, you could remove someone's spine and they'd remain upright on this thing (this guy was just born without one though... :)), so we'll go to the launch then. I can't clearly remember (it was six weeks ago!), but aren't there "keep heads back" signs on the back of each row, as well as the usual ride information signs outside? Then there's the soundtrack which tells you straight up to keep your head back.
To be fair, the brake run does bring you to a sudden stop. It makes you lurch forward a bit, but he's explicitly said a violent jolt, so cross that off the list, so it's back to the launch, where regardless of how loose or non-existent your restraint is, you're not going to get any whiplash unless you're not following directions, which in a reasonable situation like this, will find that Disney wasn't at all negligent if the guy did actually suffer form whiplash.*** This post was edited by auscoasterman 1/22/2004 8:33:39 AM ***
I find it odd that even the launch, which when it jolts you your head doesn't recoil, would cause whiplash. Even then, unless the guy was leaning quite a distance forward in his seat I don't really see the range of motion on the neck being extended beyond the comfortable limits to cause a sprain and strain. If the guy was able to lean that far forward, his restraint couldn't have even been halfway down. If the restraint wasn't even half way down, how on earth would the ride op who checked it not notice?
Take all that with a grain of salt, as I'm not familar with the case and I'm not a professional medical kind of person.
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