I heard a few weeks ago that someone died while rehearsing for an Indiana Jones event at Disneyworld. The stuntman fell onto a stage. And I believe Disneyworld has had a few other deaths recently, but I can't recall what they are at the moment.

And I'm guessing people on this site that hate police officers, will post telling me that it's more dangerous being a Disney character at the Magic Kingdom, then partroling the freeways as a cop. But I digress.

The more interesting story was up in Santa Clara last month. A rollercoaster called "Invertigo" got stuck. I guess calling the thing "invertigo" sure wasn't false advertising!

Now, if it was a theme park up in Northern California that had a rollercoaster get stuck and children needing to be rescued...I would've guessed it was at Neverland Ranch. But with Michael Jackson being gone...

It was at a place called Great America.

There were 24 people that needed to be rescued after five hours of being stuck almost 80 feet up.

They had a lift chain that malfunctioned, and firefighters used cherry pickers and ladders to rescue the folks.

It's funny, because my first thought was that you go onto rollercoasters to get scared. And, nothing would scare you more than the thing malfunctioning.

I remember as the story played on the news, wondering what kind of settlement the park would be making with these people as they were being safely placed back on terra firma.

I thought the park would be smart and offer each of the 24 people a thousand bucks and free lifetime passes, quickly getting them to sign a form stating they wouldn't sue.

And best to get the people while they're still shaken up by the whole experience and haven't talked to a lawyer.

But the newscaster said (with a straight face) each person was given a free pair of tickets to visit the park again.

Now that, right there, would've made me immediately head over to an attorney.

(On a side note: If you're looking for a well-made teen comedy, check out Adventureland, out now on DVD).

Comments

The_Comedian Sept. 3, 2009 @ 10:37 a.m.

Isn't everything at your own risk in these places? Although I don't know how far that goes in these situations. Someone dies at Disney every year it's the "The Happiest Place (To Die) on Earth". I saw Adventureland. I keep wanting to say the main kid is Michael Cera or Adam Samburg, but I know it's their hybrid. That "other guy".

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Josh Board Sept. 3, 2009 @ 11:04 a.m.

I don't htink at amusement parks, it's "at your own risk" the way, say, an ice skating rink is. I think there's a presumed safety thing when you go on rides. Although, when you sky dive or bungee jump, they sign things saying you can't sue if things go wrong.

That main kid is Jesse Eisenberg, who doesn't seem to be getting any love! Yeah, he is Cera's twin. I guess I can see Samburg a bit, too. But since that guy mostly does SNL stuff, I don't think of him as a "movie star". But Cera and Eisenberg, remind me of when I was a kid and Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton both kind of looked alike, as well as Matthew Broderick and Jon Cryer. Until one becomes a lot more famous than the other, it gets confusing.

Eisenberg was flat out amazing in The Squid and the Whale. Although now I see he did some lame horror movie with Woody Harrelson, which is called "Zombieland." I wonder what "land" movie he'll do next.

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Russ Lewis Sept. 3, 2009 @ 3:31 p.m.

"Afterall,what basis could you sue on? It was a frightening experience? Isn't that the whole point of being on the ride in the first place?"

Hmmm...excellent point, Pete. Unassailable reasoning.

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PistolPete Sept. 3, 2009 @ 3:11 p.m.

Don't quote me on this but if someone gets stuck on a ride,is rescued but isn't hurt,he's s*** out of luck and can't sue. Afterall,what basis could you sue on? It was a frightening experience? Isn't that the whole point of being on the ride in the first place? It was a frightening experience? If they get hurt,the money they depends on the seriousness of the injuries sustained.

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PistolPete Sept. 3, 2009 @ 3:35 p.m.

Thank you. Unfortunetly,most half-brained jurors don't think like I do.

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Russ Lewis Sept. 3, 2009 @ 4:01 p.m.

Then again, I've never spent several hours upside-down and don't know the physical effects that could result from this, and so it could be that there's plenty we're not taking into account. Remember the lady at McDonald's who sued when she spilled the coffee in her lap? Most people saw that as just a nuisance lawsuit, but she in fact was scalded so badly she required skin grafts. That's lawsuit material, I'd say.

So maybe the smart thing to do would be to spend a few hours upside-down in a stalled thrill ride and see what it's worth to you monetarily. At the very least you should probably get paid for your time.

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PistolPete Sept. 3, 2009 @ 4:13 p.m.

Getting paid for your time I can agree on. If I'm stuck on a coaster that's upside down,I'd be worried about the blood rushing to my brain. THAT could be scary and possibly damaging. However,the people stuck on the coaster that Josh was refering to,wasn't upside down. I'd take my free tickets and call it a day. I might ask for free food and drink all day as well.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/08/10/roller.coaster.rescue/index.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3BwXlzNU40

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Josh Board Sept. 3, 2009 @ 9:17 p.m.

Don't get me wrong, Pete. I'm not saying I'd rush in and sue. But, after being rescued from an incident like that, I'd laugh in their face at the thought of "two free tickets" being offered for my "inconvenience." And, regarding the lawsuit, I would say that being "detained" for a 4 to 5 hour period, in a scary situation, would surely warrant some sort of "pain and suffering".

And russl, glad you brought up the McDonald's lady. That's a case everyone uses as an example of frivilous lawsuits, when in fact, all she initially asked McDonald's for was "half" of her $900 medical bill, as the doctor stated no coffee should be hot enough to do what that did to her skin. They balked, and she sued (she didn't have health insurance).

On a side note...gotta love that health insurance debate/town hall meeting, or whatever it was, that ended with a guy having his finger bitten off. It would've been more interesting if the guy with the missing digit didn't have health insurance. But he did.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 3, 2009 @ 10:47 p.m.

And I'm guessing people on this site that hate police officers, will post telling me that it's more dangerous being a Disney character at the Magic Kingdom, then partroling the freeways as a cop. But I digress.

LOL....you're killing JB!

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 3, 2009 @ 10:54 p.m.

It's funny, because my first thought was that you go onto rollercoasters to get scared. And, nothing would scare you more than the thing malfunctioning.

LOL...somehow I don't think "malfuntion" is part of the roller cpaster experience...BTW "Great America" was built by the Marriott Company (yes, the hotel chain) in 78/79 as I recall. . . . . I thought the park would be smart and offer each of the 24 people a thousand bucks and free lifetime passes, quickly getting them to sign a form stating they wouldn't sue. ===========================================

I would be all over that deal like a cheap date. . . .

Although, when you sky dive or bungee jump, they sign things saying you can't sue if things go wrong.

They can "say" that all they want, they can even make you sign a waiver-the problem is they still have to use reasonable care and due dilligence. As a matter of public policy you cannot make a person waive their rights for no consideration. An invalid/void contract as they would say in court.

. .

Don't get me wrong, Pete. I'm not saying I'd rush in and sue. But, after being rescued from an incident like that, I'd laugh in their face at the thought of "two free tickets" being offered for my "inconvenience." And, regarding the lawsuit, I would say that being "detained" for a 4 to 5 hour period, in a scary situation, would surely warrant some sort of "pain and suffering".

You could sure udner all sorts of legal theories. How about negligence to start with.

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 3, 2009 @ 11 p.m.

Remember the lady at McDonald's who sued when she spilled the coffee in her lap? Most people saw that as just a nuisance lawsuit, but she in fact was scalded so badly she required skin grafts. That's lawsuit material, I'd say.

She had 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns and did require surgery.

BUT that was only part of the problem. McDonalds had this EXACT same situation come up in several prior incidents, and they were AWARE of the potential danger, and did NOTHING to remedy or cure the problem (coffee did NOT have to be served at 190 degrees, 135 is normal). That is why the verdict was so high ($2.9 million, of which $2.7 million were "punitive", meaning to punish)), the jury was sending a message to McD's, so they woudl NOT allolw this to happen again.

BTW-the punitive damages were lowered substantially, so McD's did not pay the entire $2.9 million.

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David Dodd Sept. 3, 2009 @ 11:33 p.m.

But. I LIKE my coffee at 190 degrees...

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thestoryteller Sept. 3, 2009 @ 11:57 p.m.

Legally, a defendant has to pay for your damages like medical bills to make you whole. If you didn't suffer any damage while on the malfunctioning ride, you're out of luck. It's unlikely they could recover for emotional distress.

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Josh Board Sept. 4, 2009 @ 10:10 a.m.

And to me...it's just the matter if it being HOURS that these guys were stranded. I seem to remember that on that ride at Sea World (the one that just slowly goes up that huge pole, while you sit looking out the windows)...it got stuck. And I seem to remember the riders getting some nice gifts for their "trouble".

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