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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!!!!!!!

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      • #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:
            Jiminy Cricket Fan
            .................................

            Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

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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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