ERIC Number: EJ727972
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-1
California Amusement Rides and Liability
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPERD), v76 n8 p11 Oct 2005
Twenty-three-year-old Cristina Moreno traveled from Spain to California for her honeymoon in 2000. As part of her visit, she rode the Indiana Jones amusement ride at Disneyland with her new husband. On June 25, 2000, she suffered a brain injury, and she eventually died on September 1, 2000, as a result of injuries allegedly sustained while riding on the attraction. After her death, her estate and heirs filed a complaint for wrongful death and damages against the Walt Disney Company and related defendants. Her estate claimed that Moreno "suffered serious injuries due to the violent shaking and stresses imposed by the ride," and that the jeep-style ride vehicles resulted in bleeding in Moreno's brain similar to what happens to a child who has suffered from shaken-baby syndrome. The Supreme Court of California, after a reversal and several appeals, held in a 4 to 3 decision that Disney was liable as an operator of an amusement park ride and was considered a "carrier of persons for reward" within the meaning of California Civil Code sections 2100 and 2101 (West's). As a result of this decision, California amusement park rides are held akin to planes, trains, cabs, automobiles, and other "carriers of persons for reward" unless the California legislature rewrites the law. This decision is a victory for trial lawyers and a defeat for amusement parks, which often have to balance a fine line between entertainment thrills and safety concerns. Ultimately, this decision will likely increase insurance costs and reduce the level of intensity on certain California park rides.
Descriptors: Court Litigation, State Courts, Injuries, Death, State Legislation, Risk Management, Safety, Recreational Facilities, Legal Responsibility
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193, ext. 493 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Common Law