Woman sues Magic Springs and Crystal Falls for broken bench

Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 10:26 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Darlene Davis says she sustained serious and permanent injuries when a park bench broke at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls, including injuring her back, neck, head and aggravating preexisting injuries. Darlene Davis filed a personal injury lawsuit against PARC Magic Springs LLC.

Read more from The Southeast Texas Record.

Friday, March 6, 2009 11:11 AM
Fun's avatar

Who wants to place a bet that the plaintiff's weight comes into question?

Friday, March 6, 2009 12:40 PM

Fun - you're probably right. Its the most straight forward defense in the case, especially if she exceeded the manufacturer's limit.

As an example, most folding camp chairs have a limit of anywhere from 280 to 300 lbs. Can they support more? Sure, but if it breaks as a result, you are SOL.

Friday, March 6, 2009 2:18 PM
janfrederick's avatar

If weight is indeed a consideration, perhaps they'll fault the park for not providing warning signs on the chairs. ;)

Still, most benches I've seen can support several adults. People who weigh more than several adults probably wouldn't be able to get out of bed let alone go to a park and have a seat.

Perhaps it was fiberglass. Those things always seem flimsy to me.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Friday, March 6, 2009 2:43 PM


One thing though, how does one screw breaking or popping out cause the bench to epic fail? Reading it again, this sounds like its either the responsibility of the bench manufacturer, or a frivolous lawsuit.

Granted they have a responsibility to provide a safe environment, but I don't expect a park to test ride Bench:The Ride every morning to ensure all benches are working properly.

Accidents happen, and sometimes its no one's fault.

Friday, March 6, 2009 3:29 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Juggalotus said:

Granted they have a responsibility to provide a safe environment, but I don't expect a park to test ride Bench:The Ride every morning to ensure all benches are working properly.

I call it!!

I would do that job. :)

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Monday, March 9, 2009 10:19 AM

Considering the cost of healthcare, and the hurdles you have to jump to get healthcare, I would sue too.

Not all lawsuits are frivolous. It seems this woman has a case.

Monday, March 9, 2009 11:42 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

I guess that is up for the judge to decide. I am not sure what to think. If she caused the bench to break then that is HER fault. If the bench itself was faulty then I can see the purpose of the lawsuit. There isn't enough information. She could be an ambulance chaser or she can be legit.


Monday, March 9, 2009 12:08 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

How many of us have sat down with a coworker or classmate and their chair broke? It happened once to a coworker of mine could have stood to lose a few pounds and we all laughed for about 10 minutes. Heck, he even laughed.

I suppose she does have a case here, but if she's trying to get rich off it she can go you know where. My fiance cut her finger pretty good at Universal and needed to go to the medical station, we didn't sue.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Monday, March 9, 2009 12:09 PM
Monday, March 9, 2009 2:56 PM

This is why I don't sit on those plastic resin stacking chairs. Especially after the incident at an ice cream parlor in Naples, FL where I commented on the plastic chair and chose the wooden chair instead, then five minutes later a small woman less than half my size sat on the plastic chair and it collapsed.

Y'know, according to ASTM F 2291*-09:, a bench falls into Area 2 (+1Gz, 0Gx, 0Gy), which means that in accordance with ASTM F 2291-09: the bench requires a Class 2 restraint "unless patrons are provided sufficient support and the means to react to the forces, for example, handrails, footrest, or other devices." A Class 2 restraint means a latching restraint for each patron or a latching collective device for more than one person. So if being located in an amusement park means the bench qualifies as an "amusement device" (this one apparently doubled as a "thrill ride"!) then it could be argued that industry standards demand that the bench be equipped with a seat belt!

Do we know what sort of a bench this was? We assume a classic park bench, but I have seen "benches" in parks (Cedar Point comes to mind...) where the "bench" is actually a series of seats bolted to a piece of pipe...and if one of those bolts comes out, the seat can take a nasty tumble.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

* ASTM F 2291: Standard Practice for Design of Amusement Rides and Devices

Monday, March 9, 2009 3:46 PM

"Davis says she sustained serious and permanent injuries during the incident, including injuring her back, neck, head and aggravating preexisting injuries."

New park sign for 2009. Guests May Not Sit On This Bench If They Have One Of The Following Conditions...

It's one thing to have the company pay for reasonable medical expenses. It's quite another to expect them to provide this woman an income for the rest of her days. Will every ache she feels for the next 40 years be the result of this fall?

Pain? Here's a bottle of Advil. Suffering? Mental anguish? Please, you were mildly embarrassed. Get over it. And if she really did aggravate pre-existing injuries, it might be interesting to check out what else she did at the park before sitting on the bench of doom.


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