Posted Monday, October 31, 2005 11:09 AM | Contributed by zcorpius
In a big win for Holiday World and PTC, the lawsuit arising from the tragic death of Tamar Fellner on the Raven roller coaster will be heard in southern Indiana.
Read more from MassTort.org.
Based on everything I have seen from Stark Raven Mad, there is plenty of evidence that would swing a jury towards it being the parks fault. After all, how many times have we all seen or heard about the "one click ride".
If I ran an amusement park, I would never trust anybody to use better judgement when it comes to safe riding. Too many people out there getting burned by their coffee.
I've been to an SRM and a Fall Freak Out. Where the heck was my one-click ride?!
I'm sorry, I have to side with the park on this one. They did a heck of a job doing a thing I call CYA (That's cover your behinds for those who don't get it). On my SRM and Fall Freak Out stuff I was warned on the sheet about using any device to circumvent the restraints and we were all told spedifically by Pat Koch NOT to use these said devices and if caught we would be escorted out of the event.
As for the people who bragged about their one-click rides, ask them if the ride ops let them? I'm sure you'll find out otherwise.
While I'm very sorry for Tamar's family that they are still going through this over 2 years later, the young woman made a mistake. Money is not going to help bring her back, however her example can be used to save lives in the future.
I'm sorry Patrick K, as a person who has attended those events I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you. They did all they could to CYA and unfortunately somebody did not adhere and paid a very difficult price :-/
(Do we still have to cover this ground? Yet again, even?)
What follows is, of course, a personal opinion.
Did people ever get "one click" rides on the Raven after the lap bars were changed?
It's been talked about in discussion groups, and there are even some "incriminating" photographs out there. We've all seen them by now, I imagine.
Does it matter?
Well...as a matter of fact...it does. And here's why:
EVERY person who ever took a "one click" ride on the Raven came back to the station alive. A few of them were scared a bit, but NONE of them...NOT ONE of them came out of the train unexpectedly. Ever. Unless it comes up in court, we may never know for certain, but I don't think the ride is capable of throwing a rider clear of the train. Between the seat, the lap bar, and the seat belt there are three separate restraint systems on that ride, and any one of them is sufficient to keep the rider in the train.
Tamar Fellner did not get a "one-click" ride on the Raven. Testimony in the published reports says she didn't, and I am inclined to believe that account. It agrees with what I saw in the park all weekend long (though I was not present when the incident occurred).
Eight years, thousands of enthusiasts, millions of rides given...and ONE PERSON manages to get tossed out. The only way that happens is if by one careless action (which, by the way, was NOT the mere act of unfastening the seat belt...that's only one system) she managed to actively defeat all three of the restraint systems.
Folks, it doesn't matter where the lap bar was positioned. From a purely technical standpoint, it doesn't even matter that the seat belt was unfastened. What matters is that Ms. Fellner placed herself in a position (in spite of the lap bar, without the seat belt) where she could not be secured by the ride in any way. The unfastened seat belt merely suggests that she did so intentionally.
...and I think I had better stop there.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
If you ask anyone that was there, the staff was very addement about following the rules that weekend.
Although there may have been some one click rides in previous events I can assure you the ride ops didn't allow any that weekend unless the rider was just that large.
In any event if she had used her primary restraint (seatbelt) properly and not released it there never would have been an accident.
Do I know it's her fault? Yes. We all know what she did. Does it matter that it's her fault? To a certain extent, no.
She managed to get out of her seat. How? Was she below the height requirement? Was she not properly restrained when the train left the station? Can the restraints be defeated once the train is out of the station? Or is the ride generally unsafe. One of these four things is true, and the one that is true, gets slapped in the face in the court of law.
I'm not a law major, and my understanding of lawsuits is very limited. I just know what I see around me in the world today. I don't think it matters entirely that its her fault and I'm not sure they will come out on top.
Remember, just one mans opinion. No Reason to get upset.
Clipped tidbit from Bill C's site: "Indiana law does, I believe, allow for comparative negligence to be considered."
Under this concept, if I gather correctly, anyone who has even a remote connection to the incident MIGHT be found liable to some (reduced) degree, based on whatever *portion of blame* rests with them...
Yes, HW was, and is, very concerned about rider safety. The notices and bulletins distributed to guests and staff prior to the event prove that beyond a doubt...IMO.
Facts are facts and she made decisions that were the sole reasoning for her misshap and ultimate demise.
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