Posts Tagged ‘amusement parks’

October 11 roundup

  • “Feds seek to halt inmate’s frequent lawsuits” [AP; J.L. Riches]
  • “SeaWorld Blasts ‘Improper’ Suit Over Trainer’s Death” [OnPoint News, earlier]
  • Does new NY law serve as road map for charities that wish to defy donor intent? [CultureGrrl]
  • Cruise ship case an example of tensions that arise when defense lawyers jump fence to join plaintiffs’ side [Julie Kay, DBR]
  • More on Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal’s “my lawsuits create jobs” stance [Bainbridge; related, New York Times Magazine (opponent MacMahon: “His business is suing people.”)]
  • Australia: “Autistic student sues over test” [The Age]
  • “The most conservative court? Hardly” [Jacoby, Globe] And Justice Breyer, for one, has “rejected the notion that the U.S. Supreme Court has a pro-business slant and said the court doesn’t rule in favor of companies any more frequently than it has historically.” [Bloomberg via Adler, Volokh]
  • “Abducted by aliens? Call now for compensation” [four years ago on Overlawyered; Germany]

May 5 roundup

Lawsuits against theme parks, and fee-shifting

Disney, Universal and Busch Entertainment weren’t eager to discuss the details of their legal defense but that didn’t stop the Orlando Sentinel from developing a searchable database of 477 state and federal cases filed against the three companies over the years 2004-08. Most cases were slip-falls, very few went to trial as opposed to settling, and in general the companies seemed to enjoy a fair bit of success both at satisfying patrons before their discontents reached the stage of lawsuits and at defending against the suits if brought.

It seems the companies are also willing to utilize provisions of Florida law that go further in the direction of “loser-pays” than do the laws of many other states:

Plaintiffs who lose sometimes end up footing the theme parks’ legal bills. The theme-park companies can, and do, go after unsuccessful plaintiffs, seeking reimbursement for their legal expenses. Under Florida law, anyone who sues anyone else over a personal injury faces this possibility. If the defendant offers a settlement but the plaintiff rejects it and then loses the case (or, in some circumstances, even if the plaintiff wins the case), the defendant can demand the plaintiff pay the defendant’s legal bills.

Reports of other successful defendants pressing their rights under such provisions in Florida or elsewhere are not exactly common, leaving the question of whether 1) the theme parks are making more aggressive use of the Florida rules than other defendants, 2) plaintiffs who go to trial against theme parks are atypical in some way, or 3) other defendants use the fee-shift provisions too, but we just don’t hear about it much.

May 6 roundup

  • Eeeeuw! Missouri woman’s suit says she was groped by Chuck E. Cheese mascot [Heller/OnPoint News] Parade of other bad things that can happen at theme enterprises and amusement parks [Lemondrop.com]
  • “The Doctor Will Sue You Now”: why chapter about scientist-turned-vitamin salesman and his relations with African-leader “AIDS dissidents” is missing from book by British writer Ben Goldacre [BoingBoing]
  • Just trying to make an honest living? “A former federal prosecutor who became one of New Jersey’s brashest and best-known criminal defense lawyers pleaded guilty today to helping run an exclusive Manhattan call-girl ring.” [Newark Star-Ledger via ABA Journal]
  • “Perez Hilton Sends DMCA Takedown Over Anti-Gay-Marriage Ad” [Citizen Media Law]
  • How not to get excused from jury service [Lowering the Bar; Montana, via Smoking Gun, etc.]
  • Multiplied vexation: “Stopping a serial suer” [SE Texas Record]
  • If exhortation does any good: “Judge Exhorts Class Action Lawyers to Forestall Feeding Frenzy Over Fees” [Henry Gottlieb, NJLJ]
  • More on bodega raids by rogue Philadelphia narcotics unit [Radley Balko, earlier here and here]

Disney thrill ride therapeutic, woman says

“A Florida woman who claims the G-forces from a theme park ride relieve her chronic pain has sued Walt Disney World for breaching its contract with visitors by limiting her to four rides per visit on its Tower of Terror. … In a complaint filed last month in Osceola County, Fla., Denise Mooty alleges she needs the Tower of Terror for therapy rather than thrills.” Disney denies the charges and says Mooty was made to leave the park “for causing a disturbance within the presence of other guests and using foul language toward a Cast Member.” [Heller, OnPoint News]