A lawsuit was filed last month against Dollywood arising out of an incident that involved a fall from a ride. The woman suffered a brain injury from a headfirst fall from the ride at Dollywood caused by a mix of sleet and rain that made the ride “dangerously slick” and a lack of adequate safety measures. The lawsuit was filed against the Tennessee theme park’s operators.
The Plaintiff, Tedi A. Brown, suffered permanent impairments and disabilities after she plunged from the Waltzing Swinger ride. She had been on vacation with her husband and five of their children in late December 2013. Defendants in the case are Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. and Dolly Parton Productions Inc. Herschend operates and manages the theme park at Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Mrs. Brown and her husband filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn. The suit alleges that the Brown family had not been on the ride before. Mrs. Brown and her husband asked a Dollywood employee if the Waltzing Swinger was safe to ride in the wintry conditions and the family was told not to worry, the complaint said. The complaint alleges:
• The Waltzing Swinger is a revolving ride with individual seats ascending 25 feet into the air and tilting outward.
• The swinging chairs lacked locking mechanisms to restrain riders, and anyone could lift the lap bar and become unrestrained.
• When the ride is completed, the chairs come to a stop about 10 feet above the ground.
• Once the Brown family’s ride had stopped, Tedi Brown thought the ride was over and lifted her lap bar to exit her seat. She quickly realized the seats were too high to exit safely, but lost her grip on the lap bar due to the slick conditions.
• She slid from her seat and fell headfirst onto the pavement.
• She suffered spine and neck injuries, torn ligaments and a broken jaw.
• “Defendants failed to exercise due care and breached the duty owed these Plaintiffs by failing to close the Waltzing Swinger … when the weather was a wintry mix of rain and sleet, which rendered the seats and lap bars of that ride dangerously slick.”
• The park also failed to warn the family not to raise the non-locking safety bar until the ride was safely on the ground.
Source: Claims Journal
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