Teen born without hands and feet challenging Six Flags Great Adventure safety restrictions

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Joseph Masci, 16, was born without feet. His right arm ends at the elbow. His left arm ends in a malformed hand. The Masci family has sued Six Flags Great Adventure over safety rules that bar him from most rides because they believe the range of disability rules are too broad.

Read more from The Star-Ledger.

LJEdge's avatar

Wouldn't a suit against the companies that manufacture the rides make more sense? Six Flags, and any other park for that matter, just follows the mandates given to them by the ride manufacturers.

Edit: Or maybe many of these stipulations don't come from the ride makers? I know Cedar Fair's policy back in 2006 resembled the "new" policy at Six Flags.

Last edited by LJEdge,
Jeff's avatar

That isn't the case here. The kid has onride photos, clearly he has been on the rides before.

I think there's a valid argument to be made that not all disabilities are created equally. No one really wins here, and the only thing I can imagine is spending a lot more money on professionally evaluating whether or not each person can ride. That's problematic too because is really qualified in the dynamics of rides and body proportions inside of restraints?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

slithernoggin's avatar

Given that he's ridden safely in the past, it seems clear that he should be allowed to continue to ride. Yet I can't cast Six Flags as the bad guy here. They may be over-reacting to that unfortunate incident, but I can understand the business and legal issues that would lead them there.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Lord Gonchar's avatar

slithernoggin said:

Given that he's ridden safely in the past, it seems clear that he should be allowed to continue to ride.

Nope.

Just because he's ridden without incedent in the past doesn't mean he's ridden safely.

Standards change. Lots of things that are at one time considered 'safe' are later found to be less than such.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar,
slithernoggin's avatar

Well, damn you, you are right.

My logical brain says yes, standards do change. In the 50s, cigarette ads featured doctors touting the health benefits of smoking.

My emotional (if only nominally so) brain says -- but he's ridden the rides plenty of times! How can it not be safe for him to ride!?!


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Jeff's avatar

Standards change, but the rides have not. Neither has he (though I suppose he's older, and presumably taller). It's hard to tell what the new rules are really requiring him to be, because they don't seem applicable to every restraint type. That seems to be what they're arguing. Again, trying to apply a broad standard against a lot of variables is a problem.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

slithernoggin's avatar

Even in the more limited environment of the theatre I work at here in Chicago we deal with that.

For instance, company management has drawn a (somewhat) arbitrary line that children three and under aren't allowed in the show... even though some two year olds would be fine with the show and some six year olds scream in terror at the sight of a Blue Man.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Raven-Phile's avatar

Last edited by Raven-Phile,
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Just because he's ridden without incedent in the past doesn't mean he's ridden safely.

Exactly that.

The reason airline travel is so safe is because accidents are SO well investigated. Not a fan of ride accident investigations.

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