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  1. #1

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    Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that a handicapped man recently won a $8000 suit against Disneyland for failing to notify him that rides have the possiblity of breaking down, and for being stuck in 'It's a Small World' for 30 minutes while the ride was being fixed. While the cast members were able to evacuate all the other guests, they were unable to evacuate Mr. Martinez who is paralyzed and was stuck in the 'Good Bye' room. The news article is below:

    A disabled man who spent more than half an hour trapped in Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” ride in 2009 has won $8,000 in damages from the amusement park, the man’s lawyer said Tuesday.

    Jose Martinez, a resident of San Pedro (Los Angeles County) who is in early 50s, was stuck in the “Goodbye Room” when the ride broke down the day after Thanksgiving in 2009, said David Geffen, a Santa Ana attorney.

    Disneyland employees evacuated other riders but had no way to help Martinez, who is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair, Geffen said.

    Martinez suffers from panic attacks and high blood pressure, both of which became an issue as he sat in the boat, the “Small World” song playing over and over and over, Geffen said.

    “He was half in the cave of the ride and half out,” Geffen said. “The music was blaring. They couldn’t get it to go off.”
    Disneyland employees should have called firefighters to evacuate Martinez, but instead they waited for the ride to be fixed, Geffen said. Martinez was eventually treated at a Disneyland first aid station, the lawyer said.

    Besides failing to take proper care of Martinez while he was stuck on the ride, Disneyland did not notify disabled riders that if “It’s a Small World” broke down, they could be trapped, U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled Friday. Martinez sued Disneyland in February 2011 in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.

    A spokesman for Disneyland did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment Tuesday.

    “This is a really important ruling not just for (Martinez), but for anyone that rides the rides at Disneyland — because they do break down often and they do not tell people,” Geffen said. “The court’s saying that this kind of injury is foreseeable and that (Disneyland) has a duty to warn people.”
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  2. #2

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    Normally I wouldn't think that anybody stuck on a ride for 30 min. during a breakdown deserves payment, especially since you're not in any danger. Honestly, there are worse places to spend 30 minutes than on a ride at Disneyland. Most people spend that much time in a car on their way to work every day and I imagine a boat in Disneyland is roomier and more pleasant.

    However, being stuck listening to that song for 30 min. is a form of torture. If I had to listen to that for half an hour I would probably need to spend some quality time in a padded cell.

  3. #3

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    I remember hearing about this. That 8k sure seems worth it, huh?

  4. #4

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    Joy. Prepare for extended safety spiels.

    "Please remain seated with your hands, arms feat, and legs inside the boat, and please refrain from flash photography, and please watch your children, and please be aware that the ride may stop at any time, and..."

  5. #5

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    you would have to pay me 8grand to even get on that ride again. they should make it so you can shoot the dolls for points.

    poor guy is lucky he did not go insane

  6. #6

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    I remember this one time I was on Small World when all of the lights and audio animatronics went out and we were just in the boat silently floating by the static figures. It was a creepy as hell, but my friends and I laughed so hard when it happened.

  7. #7

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    He probably spent longer than 30 minutes in line to get on the ride in the blistering sun.

  8. #8

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit


    Was he in danger? No. Was he slightly inconvenienced? Yes. This is why we can not have nice things.

  9. #9

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by frollofan View Post
    I remember this one time I was on Small World when all of the lights and audio animatronics went out and we were just in the boat silently floating by the static figures. It was a creepy as hell, but my friends and I laughed so hard when it happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    This is why we can not have nice things.

  10. #10

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    How did they come up with this $8,000 figure. I'm surprised he didn't sue for some enormous amount.

  11. #11

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    We get stuck on a ride and we start a thread about it.

    He gets stuck and is awarded $8,000. I call B.S.


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  12. #12

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    In all seriousness, I hope it will inspire Disney to re-evaluate evacuation procedures. In this case the guy was tortured by the song, and his panic attacks certainly might have been triggered.

    However, what if the ride had been on fire? What if something else dangerous had been happening? What if one of the other guests had somehow fallen, gotten ill or been unable to walk?

    They didn't have a way to evac that guy or anyone else who might have had problems and regardless of the situation that is an issue. I won't comment on the validity of the lawsuit, but just say that I hope they will think about that and figure out better ways to get disabled guests off the rides.

  13. #13

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    what she said

  14. #14

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
    How did they come up with this $8,000 figure. I'm surprised he didn't sue for some enormous amount.
    Maybe just enough to cover court fees?
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  15. #15

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    Re: Handicapped guest trapped in ‘It’s a Small World’ wins lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Druggas View Post
    We get stuck on a ride and we start a thread about it.

    He gets stuck and is awarded $8,000. I call B.S.
    This, right here
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