A woman is claiming compensation for an accident at Dollywood in which she suffered multiple injuries due to allegedly falling from an amusement ride.
In December 2014, Tedi Brown, her husband Derryl and five of the couple´s children visited the Dollywood amusement park in Tennessee. Despite the inclement weather, the family was assured that the Waltzing Swinger amusement – a revolving ride with individual seats ascending and tilting outwards 25 feet into the air – was safe to go on.
When she believed the ride was over, Tedi lifted the lap bar to exit her seat. However, she quickly realized that she was too far up in the air to exit safely; but, due to the wet conditions, Tedi lost her grip and fell ten feet head first onto the pavement below.
As a result of her fall, Tedi suffered a brain injury, a broken coccyx, a broken jaw torn ligaments and soft tissue injuries to her spine and neck. After Tedi had received medical treatment, Darryl sought legal advice and made a claim for compensation for an accident at Dollywood on his wife´s behalf.
In the legal action it is claimed that Dollywood failed to exercise due care by keeping the Waltzing Swinger operational during wintry weather “which rendered the seats and lap bars of that ride dangerously slick”. It is also alleged that the operators failed to warn Tedi against raising the lap bar until the ride was safely on the ground.
The owners of Dollywood – Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. and Dolly Parton Productions Inc. – have denied liability for Tedi´s injuries and moved to have the claim for compensation for an accident at Dollywood dismissed. They argue that the ride was safe to operate, that Tedi had to intentionally unlatch her lap bar to get off of her seat, and that she jumped at the end of the ride, rather than fell.
The claim is now waiting for a decision from the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville.