A man and his wife visiting Orlando from Puerto Rico ended up in the hospital after he says he was hit in the eye while on the Dragon Challenge at Universal’s Islands of Adventure on Sunday, July 31. The ride had to be shut down and the man’s eye and face were bloody when he disembarked. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with a pain in his right eye and no vision. Later he said he lost sight in his left eye and he is now completely blind in that eye.
Universal issued a statement that it found nothing that might have fallen in the area. WESH-Television reports that the two roller coasters pass each other in close proximity and even though the people at the gate try to keep riders from bringing loose objects on the ride, imagine what could fall out of someone’s pocket? The man says he has lost vision permanently in his right eye. The dual roller coasters reopened Monday, August 1. The man and his wife have hired an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit.
According to a study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), from 1997 to 2003, there were 2,800 to 4,300 emergency room injuries associated with parks nationwide. From 1987 to 2001, there were 55 deaths at amusement parks including falls, drowning, traumatic head injury, stroke, brain aneurysm, paralysis. There are also problems with inattentive and inexperienced operators of these rides in rare instances.
The Orlando Sentinel found that none of the 477 personal injury lawsuits filed against parks during a five-year period ever went to trial. They were all settled for a relatively small amount – less than $25,000 each.
It is difficult to imagine that this case will fall into that category since this man may have a permanent disability and has an emergency room bill and stay in the hospital. At Farah & Farah, our personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville remind you that an amusement park is like a small city and is full of all types of potential for injury. When a park invites guests to its facility, it needs to uphold its responsibility to keep the facility safe for everyone. When that trust is breached, you may have avenues to explore for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Sources: http://www.wesh.com/news/28743526/detail.html#ixzz1UOi7x7Y6, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/orl-themepark-injury-lawsuits-033009,0,5046537.story and http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia05/os/amusrest.pdf