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Disney fights ruling on safety standards - Bloomberg, 4/8/05

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  • Disney fights ruling on safety standards - Bloomberg, 4/8/05

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/0...cle_473312.php


    Walt Disney Co., the world's largest theme-park operator, is seeking to overturn a court ruling that the company says would regulate roller coasters, such as the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Space Mountain, the way buses are regulated.

    California's Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments on whether Disney and other theme- park companies should be held to the same heightened safety standards as train and bus operators. The case stems from the death of a 23-year-old woman after riding on the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland in Anaheim.

    California is home to some of the nation's most visited amusement parks including Universal Studios Hollywood and Disney's California Adventure and Disneyland. If Disney loses, lawyers for injured riders may have an easier time getting their cases before a jury or negotiating settlements.

    "Disney doesn't like to settle these things," said Greg Keating, a professor at the University of Southern California's law school. "It might make it easier to get a settlement because there will be more liability on behalf of Disney."

    Richard Derevan, a lawyer for Disney, told the justices that under the higher standard of care, "something could always be safer. The ride could be slower, the curves less sharp, the hills less steep. The ride may lose its purpose for being."

    Six Flags, which operates Magic Mountain and Marine World in California, and industry groups filed court papers supporting Disney's position, arguing that the rides provide entertainment rather than transportation. They say it is unfair to subject amusement parks to a law passed in 1872, when the public needed assurances to ride new technologies such as railroads.

    The justices also questioned lawyers for both sides on whether the common-carrier standard should apply to Disneyland's Monorail, which carries visitors around the park, and rides such as the Back to the Future Ride at Universal Studios, which simulates movement.
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  • #2
    Are they kidding. Jeebus ... What about the Mark Twain or the DL Railroad... shall we make all the vehicles in Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin get Taxi Licenses and Medallions?
    ~ Tasty, yet morally ambiguous! ~

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    • #3
      further proof that Californian lawyers, particularly those dealing with theme park safety, are incompetent. They should just have everyone sign a waiver when they enter the parks and forget all of this garbage.
      -Kyle, Member of the DCA Lovers Alliance
      I'M GOING TO YALE!!!!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by pyrateslife4me84
        further proof that Californian lawyers, particularly those dealing with theme park safety, are incompetent.
        Don't seem incompetent to me.... They got a law passed that will result in them getting hundreds of more cases, meaning million of more dollars....

        And, the politicians just pass htese stupid laws because the ill-informed voters want easy answers and sound-bites.

        It is the voters, not the lawyers, that are incompetent...

        Voters should vote out of office the idiots that make laws like these...

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        • #5
          I had to comment on DCA being one of the nation's most visited amusement parks.

          :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

          Back to topic, I hope Disney is able to get this overturned. The reason Disney does not like to settle these cases is to protect themselves against any yahoo suing them because he got "hurt" at the parks. The precident favors Disney in cases that go to court- they always fight a case in which they feel they are not negliable and settle cases where they clearly are (in some cases, i.e. the Columbia accident, filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the faulty part.)

          In our over-litigous society, people are always hoping to make a fast buck and I hope Disney does not fall victim to this as they have managed to avoid doing in the past. Also, hopefully the change in management will assure that safety and maintenance standards are upheld.
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          • #6
            New safety standards

            I can see California lawyers requiring bubble wrap around each person getting on a ride. :bow:

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            • #7
              I seem to remember DCA being 8th in the nation- behind DL, the four WDW parks, and two Universal Parks (not in that order) -which IMHO, would make it one of the most visited. Kind of suprising, huh?

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              • #8
                It appears that the women's family claims that the Indian Jones ride brought on a brain hemorage. This case needs to be overturned and the ruling should favor Disney. If the Indiana Jones ride caused brain hemorages, there would be thousand or even millions of people suffering from them.

                If the laws were changed, all rollercoasters in California would restricted to moving at 5 mph.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by grvtydefy
                  I seem to remember DCA being 8th in the nation- behind DL, the four WDW parks, and two Universal Parks (not in that order) -which IMHO, would make it one of the most visited. Kind of suprising, huh?
                  Of those parks open year round...

                  Other parks have a higher daily attendance than DCA, but are only open seasonally....
                  Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                  • #10
                    What absolute Inanity! Transportation gets you from one place to another - the two Disney rides that seem to meet that criteria are the Monorail and the RR. BUT neither of these rides ever leaves Disney property. Doesn't that mean it's a private entity?
                    What a bunch of hooey!


                    War is over if you want it...

                    Peace - Love - Mickey Mouse

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                    • #11
                      Wouldn't it be funny if Disney Co dismantled Disneyland and relocated it to another state?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pyrateslife4me84
                        further proof that Californian lawyers, particularly those dealing with theme park safety, are incompetent. They should just have everyone sign a waiver when they enter the parks and forget all of this garbage.
                        Very often waivers are not worth the paper they are printed on.

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                        • #13
                          wait.. this law was prompted by a ride called indiana jones.... whihc is not a rollercoaster... now they want evey ride to be treate as transportation in CA.... Don't they already have Themepark inspectors and laws...

                          Idiots i swear....
                          (FLA only has the old people... not those who help make some of these laws..)

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                          • #14
                            When did this woman's death occur? I don't recall hearing abou it.

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                            • #15
                              All this is fine and dandy but as far as I know Disney is the one that holds itself to the highest standards. I believe in training at the park they mentioned that rides are held to the same standard that carnivales and state fairs are held to. Attractions CMs must join the union of carnivale employees...

                              So do I agree they should be slammed with the same rules as transportation? No. Perhaps the United States government should prepose a new department dedicated exclusivly to theme park safety by which there would be a standard above carnivales and state fairs.

                              I have said it once and I will say it again, if you goto a MLB game and you are hit by a fowl ball, there is little recourse that can be taken against the team, the stadium or the teams. You sign no waiver upon entering the stadium but it is an assumed risk. Those same legalities should and must be applied to theme parks.






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                              • #16
                                Wow this is sad that this case came up... maybe it was just a matter of time I guess. I hope the coursts rule in Disney's favor.

                                :thumbup: "This guy!"

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SuperDisneyDad
                                  It appears that the women's family claims that the Indian Jones ride brought on a brain hemorage. This case needs to be overturned and the ruling should favor Disney. If the Indiana Jones ride caused brain hemorages, there would be thousand or even millions of people suffering from them.

                                  If the laws were changed, all rollercoasters in California would restricted to moving at 5 mph.
                                  That is what already ruined the ride. It was twice as jerky before and I loved it. Now it doesn't feel like offroading anymore which sucks.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ah schucks
                                    All this is fine and dandy but as far as I know Disney is the one that holds itself to the highest standards.
                                    They do also kill people from time to time in gruesome media-grabbing ways... The demands listed in this story are a little over the top, but its not like they have absolutely no reason to request Disney ratchets up their ride safety in the park.

                                    I find it entirely ridiculous that the same group of people (all of us) who jump down Disney's throat for not keeping their rides up to snuff to the point that they start falling apart are now jumping down the throats of lawmakers for suggesting that Disney maybe be required legally to do a better job.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jorek
                                      They do also kill people from time to time in gruesome media-grabbing ways... The demands listed in this story are a little over the top, but its not like they have absolutely no reason to request Disney ratchets up their ride safety in the park.

                                      I find it entirely ridiculous that the same group of people (all of us) who jump down Disney's throat for not keeping their rides up to snuff to the point that they start falling apart are now jumping down the throats of lawmakers for suggesting that Disney maybe be required legally to do a better job.
                                      There has never legally been a death on Disney property. There is an agreement with the city of Anaheim that prevents DOA being declared until the body leaves Disney property- sad huh?

                                      Disney has had less deaths than most parks per the amount of annual vistors per amount of times each ride is riden. What that means is that those rides are ridden more often, by more people with less accidents than most parks.

                                      Now I for one do not jump down there throats for safety, in fact I applaud them for having as few accidents as they do. I am simply saying to appease safety conscious citizens the US Government should impliment a ride safety department rather than apply transportation regulations against the rides.






                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Lawmakers are not trying to require them to do a better job, they are trying to place restrictions on them that make no sense. That's like saying that medical assistants should have to pass the same boards as doctors. It's imposing standards for beef processing on produce. If they want to make a new law that makes sense, it would be a different story. But no one actually would view the rides as "transportation" of any kind at all. They post enough warnings on these rides and can't accept liability for something that happens when the ride is functioning normally (such as a brain hemmorage, if she had a blood clot that happened to dislodge while on a ride, that is just coincidence, she was a time bomb to begin with). There is nothing wrong with imposing reasonable safety standards and enforcing them, but this is unreasonable.
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