A jury in Brooklyn has awarded a woman $600,000 compensation for an injury on a roller coaster ride after allocating her 60% comparative negligence.
Paula Noone (52) from Tucson, Arizona, made her claim for compensation for an injury on a roller coaster ride after riding on the Cyclone Roller Coaster in Coney Island on June 12th 2008. Due to her head being propelled back and forth during the ride, Paula suffered two herniated discs and concussion. She was also subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In her claim, Paula alleged that her injuries were caused by the roller coaster ride – which was first constructed in 1927 – being in a hazardous condition. She claim that the lack of any neck or head support led to her suffering “serious, severe and permanent injuries”. The then owners of the Coney Island Amusement Park disputed their liability for Paula´s injuries, and the case went to the Brooklyn Supreme Court.
At the hearing, the jury was told by defense lawyers that Paula should not be entitled to compensation for an injury on a roller coaster ride, as there was a sign prominently positioned at the start of the ride that advised passengers with neck injuries not to ride on the roller coaster. They produced evidence that showed Paula had suffered a sprained neck five years previously and argued that her injuries were due entirely to her own negligence.
Paula´s lawyer argued that previous injuries had no bearing on her entitlement to compensation for an injury on a roller coaster ride, but the Brooklyn jury did not entirely agree with him – awarding Paula $1.5 million compensation for an injury on a roller coaster ride and attributing her with 60% comparative negligence – reducing the final award to $600,000.
Since Paula sustained her injury, the new owners of the amusement venue in which the Cyclone roller coaster is situated have introduced new safety measures. This not only follows Paula´s case, but also a fatal accident in 2007 when a Californian guitar salesman – Keith Shirasawa – died five days after snapping his neck on the ride.