A colorado family involved in a 2004 roller coaster accident has sued Disneyland, alleging the theme park failed to follow proper safety...
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Colorado family involved in a 2004 roller coaster accident has sued Disneyland, alleging the theme park failed to follow proper safety procedures on its Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride.
The lawsuit says the Cope family of Telluride, Colo., was on the ride returning to the loading area when their train collided with another one being loaded with new passengers.
Gerald Cope suffered serious back injuries that have required surgery, according to the lawsuit. The other family members — Cope’s wife and two children — suffered soft tissue injuries and emotional distress in the July 8, 2004 incident, according to the claim.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Orange County Superior Court, seeks unspecified compensatory and emotional damages; medical and legal fees and compensation for Gerald Cope’s loss of income.
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In a statement, Disneyland spokesman Rob Doughty said the company has “repeatedly asked Mr. Cope for background information so we can evaluate his claim — and we have yet to receive it.”
Disneyland closed the ride for about three weeks following the accident. A report from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health found a Disneyland worker had failed to follow the procedure for removing a set of cars from service. It also said the ride’s control system was flawed.
Disneyland, owned by The Walt Disney Co., settled several lawsuits from a separate September 2003 incident on the same ride that killed one person and injured nine others.
State investigators concluded the mishap was caused by improper maintenance by outside machinists who did not understand or follow the park’s maintenance procedures.