A Harrowing Roller Coaster Ride on El Diablo Leads to Lawsuit

Photo of injured manThe high-speed thrills of rollercoasters bring thousands of Americans to amusement parks every summer. But sometimes those thrills turn to terror, as occurred at Six Flags Great Adventure in 2015.

At the Jackson Township park, a juvenile girl named Rachel boarded El Diablo, a red-and-yellow behemoth that opened earlier that year. The coaster consists of a massive seven-story loop, which the car speeds around the inside of over and over again. Rachel was expecting an exhilarating experience as the car picked up momentum and spun her body a full 360 degrees. But instead, Rachel suffered serious, severe and permanent injuries from El Diablo, according to a lawsuit against the park.

Her injuries, including shoulder, cervical, thoracic and lumbar strains and sprains, occurred as she hung onto her shoulder restraints for dear life after her lap restraint disengaged. For loop after loop, the girl clung for her life, her body shaken and slammed, according to the lawsuit. The family alleges that Six Flags was careless, reckless and negligent for its failure to ensure that the lap belts were working properly.

Six Flags has since fired back, seeking a motion for dismissal on a number of points. The first, they say, is that the family waited too long to file a lawsuit. In New Jersey, families must report incidents to park operators within 90 days. Only after reporting the incident can they file a personal injury claim. Six Flags also argues that because it did not design, manufacture or sell the ride, it cannot be held responsible for product defects.

 What Are My Rights as an Amusement Park Patron?

It is hard to figure out how often injuries and deaths occur at amusement parks. That is because there is no federal law or national agency required to file such reports. In New Jersey, regulated parks must report accidents to the state. However, this data is not easily accessible to the public.

If you suffer injury in a theme park, as mentioned above, you have 90 days to submit a written notice that includes all details of the incident. If you do not submit this in time, you may be unable to file your case. That can put you on the hook for expensive medical bills, lost wages and more.

If you are injured at a park like Six Flags, Ocean City Boardwalk or Raging Waters, discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer.

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