When people ride roller coasters, they do not anticipate that any real danger exists. Instead, they are expecting a fun-filled ride with thrills -- and yes, some fear -- under controlled circumstances. That is not what some riders got recently at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles County. In fact, two personal injury suits were filed against the amusement park after an incident involving a downed tree.
As visitors to the popular park were riding a roller coaster called the Ninja, the car they were in hit a tree that landed on the tracks when it fell. This caused the roller coaster car that was suspended nearly 40 feet up to partially derail. Firefighters worked to free 22 people from the wreckage. In the process, two individuals were struck by the tree and required medical attention.
Not surprisingly, park officials characterized the injuries as minor, and no professional medical opinion regarding the injuries suffered by the two individuals was available. Nevertheless, it is claimed that the park neglected its duty to provide a safe environment for patrons by not ensuring that the tracks of the roller coaster were clear of obstructions. This alleged neglect led to the ride being unsafe, dangerous and a hazard to the safety of its riders.
It will be up to the Los Angeles County Superior Court to determine the veracity of the allegations in these personal injury claims. At a minimum, the lawsuits are requesting damages for lost income, medical expenses and costs associated with the litigation. If the Six Flags Magic Mountain is found negligent, the court may consider an award of damages.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Six Flags Magic Mountain sued over Ninja ride accident", Hugo Martin, July 9, 2014