Roller Coaster Accident Results in Lawsuit Filed By Two Riders

Six Flags Magic Mountain faces a lawsuit filed this week by two riders involved in a recent roller coaster accident, where a ride at the amusement park partially derailed after striking a tree, leaving riders stranded for nearly three hours.

The complaint was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court of California on Monday, by Jeremy Ead and Olivia Feldman, who were both riders on the Ninja roller coaster when the accident occurred on Monday.

According to allegations raised in the roller coaster accident lawsuit, the amusement park’s neglect caused the ride to be “dangerous, defective, hazardous, and unsafe.” The riders are seeking compensation for legal fees, medical bills, lost earnings, and potentially other damages, as one rider claims he suffered trauma to the head from being hit by a branch, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times

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The incident occurred on Monday evening around 6 p.m., when park officials described seeing a large branch fall across the tracks of the Ninja roller coaster, causing the roller coaster to partially derail.

Additional reports from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health indicate that an entire tree, estimated at about 40 feet high, fell on to the roller coaster tracks.

Nearly two dozen people were on the Ninja roller coaster when it partially derailed and became lodged into the tracks. The 22 people on the ride were safely evacuated around 8:30 p.m. after being stuck on the roller coaster hanging nearly 40 feet in the air for nearly three hours. Two riders were sent to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, according to a Six Flags Magic Mountain spokeswoman.

Six Flags Magic Mountain has shut down the Ninja roller coaster until a full investigation is completed, to assure the ride’s safety.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 52 people died in amusement park ride accidents between 1990 and 2004, but the agency stopped recording amusement park incident data in 2005, so current number of injuries is unknown. The CPSC now only regulates what the commission classifies as “carnival rides” at county fairs.

The agency has no jurisdiction to regulate larger scale rides at “fixed sites,” such as Six Flags roller coasters. That responsibility has fallen to the labor departments in most states, and in some they are the jurisdiction of local building inspectors.

A study published last year in the medical journal Clinical Pediatrics estimated that about 4,400 children are hurt every year on amusement park rides. However, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) emphasizes the majority of people are not being harmed.

More than 300 million people visit theme parks in the United States every year, many leave without incident or injury, according to the IAAPA. The group estimates the likelihood of a child being injured on an amusement park type ride is about 1 in 24 million.

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