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Theme Park Accidents Due to COVID Understaffing

By Renee Nordstrand on November 12, 2021

an overcast sky with a large ferris wheel

Theme parks in Southern California are struggling to find workers to fill open positions as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, according to The OCR. Like other employers, theme parks are offering higher wages and other incentives to attract the employees they need, but in the meantime, staffing shortages in theme parks can lead to serious injuries for guests.

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Family Files Lawsuit for Mechanical Bull Injuries

By Renee Nordstrand on September 1, 2019

person falling off a mechanical bull

A woman in Santa Barbara recently filed a lawsuit due to a catastrophic spinal injury she incurred at Santa Maria Fairpark on June 28, 2018.

While the woman and her family were visiting the fairgrounds, she decided to ride a mechanical bull operated by Tortoro Enterprises, Inc. According to the woman, she did not, nor was ever asked, to sign a waiver beforehand. During the ride, she was thrown over the top of the mechanical bull and landed on her neck, suffering a spinal cord injury that turned her into a quadriplegic.

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The Risk of County Fair Accidents

By Renee Nordstrand on October 25, 2018

red and yellow roller coaster at a county fair

Few things are as enjoyable as spending a beautiful fall day at the county fair. Whether you spent your days at the Santa Barbara County Fair, the Ventura County Fair, the Santa Maria County Fair, or you traveled a little farther to visit the Los Angeles County Fair, most people have a good time and never think about what would have happened if they were injured.

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The Risk of Infectious Diseases at Theme Parks

By Renee Nordstrand on January 12, 2018

aerial view of a colorful amusement park

Theme parks bring millions of visitors from all over the world to California each year.

When we go to a theme park, we assume the park’s owners and staff have taken reasonable precautions to keep us safe.

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Disneyland Rides Temporarily Shut Down Amid Safety Concerns

By Renee Nordstrand on April 25, 2013

Disneyland temporarily shut down its Space Mountain roller coaster ride and two other rides after it received word that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) had issued several safety citations to the company.

The citations were issued after an employee for a Disney contractor fell while cleaning the exterior of Space Mountain in November 2012. According to The Los Angeles Times, the worker suffered several broken bones as a result of the fall.

The L.A. Times reports that Cal-OSHA has fined the Disney contractor $60,995 as a result of the worker’s injuries. Earlier in the week, the agency proposed a nearly $235,000 penalty against the theme park in connection with the fall.

A statement on Cal-OSHA’s website indicated that Disney had completed a fall assessment report in 2006, but had done nothing to “adequately address” the fall hazards that existed on the exterior of Space Mountain. The park was cited for seven violations — three of those were willful serious violations, while another was a serious violation.

A Disneyland Resort spokesman insisted that the temporary closures of Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, and Soarin’ Over California rides were voluntary and were implemented in order to “maintain a safer work environment for our cast members and contractors.”

Have you or a loved one been injured due to an employer’s willful disregard for safety? The experienced Santa Barbara injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand will act quickly to protect your legal rights and will conduct an independent investigation into your workplace accident. Although workers’ compensation will cover an injured worker, sometimes, in cases of employer negligence, a client can recover more in damages than workers’ compensation will cover.

Let us explain your legal options. Call our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022 or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530 or contact us online to arrange for a free and confidential review of your case.

Disabled Man Trapped in Disneyland’s ‘Small World’ Ride Awarded $8,000

By Renee Nordstrand on April 8, 2013

Apparently, it was a small world for a 52-year-old paraplegic Los Angeles man who filed a lawsuit against Disneyland after he was stuck on the “Small World” ride for 30 minutes after the ride broke down. A Santa Ana jury recently awarded him $8,000 in damages as a result of the mishap.

According to the plaintiff’s attorney, his client had come to Disneyland in Anaheim with his wife for the first time since he was a child, and had been enjoying the day until he got on the “Small World” ride. When the ride broke down, everybody was evacuated, except for the plaintiff.

“They started evacuating other guests and weren’t evacuating him,” his attorney told The Los Angeles Times. They said they couldn’t move him out of the cave … They didn’t summon the Fire Department right away.”

During the time he was trapped on the ride, the repetitive “Small World” theme music continued to play. Once he was extricated, he needed medical assistance.

The jury awarded the disabled man $4,000 for pain and suffering and $4,000 related to disabled access violations. A Disneyland spokeswoman expressed disappointment with the jury’s decision and stated that the company felt it had provided “all appropriate assistance.”

The plaintiff’s attorney told the Times that his client had been enjoying the day at the park and access had not been an issue, until it “hit him hard and right in the face as soon as the ride broke down.”

It is a company’s duty to assure that their property is properly maintained so patrons do not suffer injuries while on the premises. Premises liability covers many different areas, including amusement park accidents. The Southern California amusement park accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand will provide the necessary resources you will need to successfully litigate a premises liability suit.

If you have questions about your legal options, we can be reached online or you can call us at our Santa Barbara office at (805) 962-2022, or our Encino office at (818) 981-3530, for a free review of your case.

California Supreme Court Rules on Bumper Car Injuries

By Renee Nordstrand on January 9, 2013

amusement park next the beach & ocean

Ride a bumper car at your own risk.

That’s the ruling the California Supreme Court recently handed down in the case of a woman whose wrist was fractured while she was riding a bumper car with her 9-year-old son in a Santa Clara amusement park in 2005.

The justices ruled 6-1 in favor of the amusement park, Great America, deciding that bumper car riders may not sue amusement parks over injuries stemming from the “inherent nature” of the attraction.

The woman’s wrist was injured during a head-on collision with another bumper car. Her attorney argued that the company had configured bumper car rides in other parks to avoid such head-on collisions and was therefore liable. There were 55 injuries on that particular ride in 2004 and 2005 — mostly cuts, bruises and scratches. Her injury was the only fracture reported.

Writing for the majority, Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, stated that a small degree of risk accompanies certain rides, like bumper cars, and that “those who voluntarily join in these activities also voluntarily take on their minor inherent risks.”

This doesn’t mean that amusements parks are off the hook when it comes to liability for bumper car injuries. They still have to provide routine safety measures such as seat belts, speed controls and adequate bumpers. Also, the ruling doesn’t affect rides like roller coasters, where the patron effectively gives up any control over the ride to a ride operator.

This ruling may carry other repercussions when it comes to liability issues linked with a variety of activities that carry inherent risks — such as jet skiing or skating.

The attorney for the plaintiff told The Los Angeles Times, “Patrons are less safe today than they were yesterday.”

Have you been injured in an amusement park accident? The Santa Barbara amusement park injury attorneys at Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand can assess your case and discuss your legal options. Our experienced team will fight for your legal rights.

Contact our Southern California Offices in Santa Barbara (805) 962-2022 or in Encino (818) 981-3530 for a free review of your case today.

Two Injured on Roller Coaster at Knott’s Berry Farm

By Renee Nordstrand on September 22, 2009

Two were injured last Wednesday when a cable broke during a ride on Knott’s Berry Farm’s Xcelerator.

A 12 year old boy was sent to the hospital with moderate injuries after his leg was cut on the cable.  Another man complaining of back pain was also treated at the hospital.

A video posted online of the incident shows the Xcelerator’s cars leaving the boarding platform and climbing a 205 foot horseshoe loop when the cable breaks and the cars decelerate back to the platform.

The ride remains closed this week as state officials investigate the cause of the broken cable.  The cable was not scheduled to be replaced until December.  Knott’s Berry Farm inspects each ride before opening daily, a spokesperson said.

In this situation, the injured riders should contact a California personal injury attorney with experience in amusement park accidents.  Depending on the cause of the broken cable, the injured riders may be entitled to monetary compensation.  If the ride was not properly inspected or maintained, Knott’s Berry Farm may be responsible for the incident.  If manufacturing errors caused the broken cable, the ride’s manufacturer may be held liable.

Our best wishes are with those injured in the incident as they continue to recover.