Earlier this month, we wrote about a derailment accident which trapped dozens and injured four on the Ninja roller coaster ride at Southern California’s Six Flags Magic Mountain. Now, two victims who suffered head injuries are filing a lawsuit against Six Flags, alleging that the park permitted a ride that was “dangerous, defective, hazardous and unsafe.”
Park Guests Injured in Ninja Derailment Suing Six Flags, Alleging Negligence
The Ninja roller coaster has always been one of Magic Mountain’s flagship rides, and now, it’s getting more publicity than ever. Unfortunately for Six Flags, that publicity has been somewhat less than positive.
When the story was initially reported, it was said that a branch had fallen across the coaster’s track, trapping 22 riders some 20 feet above the ground for several hours. The impact with the branch derailed the coaster from its tracks, stranding nearly two dozen passengers high above the ground as firefighters struggled to free them. It has since come to light that the actual distance above the ground was not 20 feet, but actually double that height, closer in distance to 40 feet.
In the words of L.A. County Fire Inspector Rick Flores, “It looked like a pine tree fell and it fell across the track of the Ninja ride.” Flores was one of the responders dispatched to the scene of the accident, stating at the time that the rescue was slowed by the coaster’s difficult midair position. “It’s in a very difficult place to get to,” Flores said.
Among the roughly two dozen passengers who were involved in the incident, several were hospitalized for their injuries — and now, two of them are suing the park.
“Dangerous, Defective, Hazardous, and Unsafe”
According to the suit, Six Flags failed to “provide a safe and fit vehicle, so as to cause plaintiff to suffer injuries and damages.” Those damages include medical bills and lost income caused by head injuries to the two plaintiffs in the case, Olivia Feldman and Jeremy Ead. Feldman and Ead also plan to seek damages for emotional distress caused by the accident.
Their attorney, Barry Novack, argues the ride was poorly situated, and never should have been built to weave around trees and natural features in the first place.
“They owe the highest degree of care to its passengers,” Novack says. “You don’t build it going through trees.”
Novack states that his clients suffered “direct trauma” as a result of the accident.
The California Department of Industrial Relations, a branch of Cal/OSHA, is currently probing the crash. According to Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesman Peter Melton, the ride will stay closed until investigators come to a conclusion and Cal/OSHA approves the Ninja for resumed operation.
Plaintiff Jeremy Ead remembers the moment he was hurt, recalling, “We were going across one turn and all of a sudden a loud noise happened. I ducked down just in time. A hard branch hit me in the head. I was there bleeding from my head…”
Attorney Novack filed the suit on behalf of Ead and Feldman in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday. The suit alleges that the ride was “dangerous, defective, hazardous and unsafe,” ultimately culminating in a roller coaster accident.
While stressing that guest safety is the park’s number one priority, Six Flags has thus far declined to comment on the suit.
The damages sought have not been specified.
If you or someone you love was injured at a Six Flags park, an experienced attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for your losses. To schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation with a Six Flags accident lawyer, call Reiff & Bily at (800) 861-6708, or contact us online today.