Jump to content

Disabled man claims Six Flags violated Americans with Disabilities Act


Recommended Posts

Then someone would file suit if this happened:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2012832/Darien-Lake-Iraq-war-veteran-James-Hackemer-dies-roller-coaster-fall.html

This mans argument is really kinda stupid. I hope this is dismissed.

Stupid, really?

Heres a man whos been to the park dozen of times and probably been on that ride a dozen times, now all of sudden out of the blue he can't ride it because he doesn't have hands?

If you're going to exclude someone without hands, then enforce a rule where riders with hands need to hang on to the restraint throughout the entire ride and if they don't, kick them out of the park.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rcfreak339

^Your argument makes sense...to a point. I'm not sure what the rules are on water slides, but for most of the rides at Kings Island you must have one full arm, and one full leg. If you don't have any legs, you can't ride. If you have no arms, you can't ride. There is not much the park can do about these rules, since they're the ride manufacturers policy and they have to abide by them. Sometimes people HAVE to be excluded, that's just how the world works, whether you like it or not. Is it fair the person without any arms can't ride? Sure it isn't, is it needed? Yes, for their own safety.

Think about this one here. Although, like I said, I don't know the rules on slides, does it REALLY make sense to ride a slide without hands? That's a liability issue, that the park obviously doesn't want to face. It is sad that the park operators let them on in the past (IF that is true), and that is something I'd be upset for, but the man should understand that it is needed.

Edit: Just found out, Aqua-man splashdown is not a water slide, but is in fact a ride. Sorry.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We encounter this or something similar probably once or twice a year. A teenage ride operator finally works up the courage to deliver the bad news that a person's preexisting condition goes against the park's safety rules and maybe even the manufacturer's requirements, so the person raises a fuss and insists that they've ridden it before and that they're perfectly capable and they feel violated and hurt by any assumption to the contrary.

My thing is, if I had even a slight condition that seemed more or less harmless in terms of theme park safety (maybe, a prosthetic foot or a recent oral surgery) my very first stop at the beginning of the day would be Guest Services, where I'd ask to speak with someone knowledgable about such things to know what I can and cannot ride. Granted, it's worse in the cases where people missing entire legs claim they're treated unfairly after they wait in line for Millennium Force for three hours without bothering to ask anyone or even read the informational signs at the entrance. But still, what could it hurt to start your day at Guest Services and ask what limits they impose in terms of ride requirements?

Parks have to protect themselves from liability and as this man clearly demonstrates, we live in a sue-happy society. He'd sue if he got on and couldn't brace himself and something happened, and he's suing since she couldn't get on.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the park should be consistant with its policy, whatever that may be?

I have rode Delerium several times and at several visits to the park. Then at another attempt to ride, I was told that I was too tall. I am 6'4"

I told the ride operator, that I did not have a problem in the past, (I am 44, not like I am growing) My problem is they need to be consistant.

If upon the very first time of riding, the ride operators they tell me "you are too tall to ride" fine, I don't have an issue, but to let me ride earlier in that day, without an issue, made me mad.

When I ride now, I take off my shoes (I tend to wear comfortable shoes, which sometimes has a thicker shoe sole)

The point I am trying to make is, he has rode in the past with his current disability. No one had a problem, so why should there be an issue now?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the park should be consistant with its policy, whatever that may be?

We really don't know if the park is not being consistent.

The easiest: we really do not know if the person in question is being honest about being on the ride before. I know that parks I visit often during the year the ride ops get to know me by face. Given this person's unfortunate condition, he would be even more recognizable.

I have no way of understanding his frustration given how capable he is, but to be consistent, certain criteria needs to be met. He does not.

This is an issue that will never go away. Ride manufacturers cannot design rides for every handicap and still maintain a budget. I wish they could.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the park should be consistant with its policy, whatever that may be?

We really don't know if the park is not being consistent.

The easiest: we really do not know if the person in question is being honest about being on the ride before. I know that parks I visit often during the year the ride ops get to know me by face. Given this person's unfortunate condition, he would be even more recognizable.

I have no way of understanding his frustration given how capable he is, but to be consistent, certain criteria needs to be met. He does not.

This is an issue that will never go away. Ride manufacturers cannot design rides for every handicap and still ma I wish they could

With me, there was no consistancy. One time I can ride Delerium, next time not. Another visit I can, yet another, I am told no.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The park has zero control what ride manufacturers determine to be a "safe" rider. If a manufacturer spec changes, the park has to as well.

Unfortunately, different ride ops see things differently. I suggest a visit to guest services so that it cannot be misunderstood.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the park should be consistant with its policy, whatever that may be?

We really don't know if the park is not being consistent.

The easiest: we really do not know if the person in question is being honest about being on the ride before. I know that parks I visit often during the year the ride ops get to know me by face. Given this person's unfortunate condition, he would be even more recognizable.

I have no way of understanding his frustration given how capable he is, but to be consistent, certain criteria needs to be met. He does not.

This is an issue that will never go away. Ride manufacturers cannot design rides for every handicap and still ma I wish they could

With me, there was no consistancy. One time I can ride Delerium, next time not. Another visit I can, yet another, I am told no.

Delirium is a tricky ride. If you are tall or have wide shoulders, the restraint might not go down far enough for the computer to register it as locked. Hope this piece of information helped.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

We actually had this exact situation happen last summer, where someone with no hands was turned away after being able to ride before. The issue was that one operator didn't enforce the rules and another did.

However, there's a comment towards the end of the article that said the policy was changed after the fact. If that is the case, then yes, there was a violation involved. However, if the policy was in place before hand and the operator was just following manufacturer rider requirements, then the operator was in the right and there's nothing the man can do. He was kept off it for his own safety. That being said, manufacturers do change rider requirements after rides open. GCI changed their requirements last year on leg amputations. It used to be that an individual with one amputation above the knee could ride, but now they cannot. This is not the park's change, but the manufacturer's, but I'm sure it led to quite a number of unhappy guests at parks with GCI coasters.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rcfreak339

I agree, operators SHOULD be consistent. I understand that is where the frustration comes from.

Fact is, in a case like this, there is no proof the man has ridden the ride before. He could be lying right through his teeth, knowing well that he couldn't ride the ride. Ride ops get these sort of situations all the time....especially with guests who may be too short to ride certain attractions. "What he's 47 inches?! But he just got off The Beast!", fact is, most of the time these guests are lying, will throw a tantrum, and leave.

When people don't get what they want, they get upset. Sometimes unneedingly upset.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to add while like many of you I love riding coasters with my hands pointed to the sky. However there are times especially on rides I'm unfamiliar with that my hands come down and grip. In most situations if I couldn't grip I'd probably be alright, in others might get a bruise, in an unexpected situation who knows. So yes it seems unfair to see trains full of riders with their hands up and not being able to ride for the lack of. The rules aren't in place for the common situation though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In response ^^^ I may be mistaken, but are there not rules and guidelines in place that actually say to keep both hands in the car and to hold on to the bar for safety during the ride? So techincally when you have your hands up you are breaking a guideline

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rcfreak339

Just wanted to add while like many of you I love riding coasters with my hands pointed to the sky. However there are times especially on rides I'm unfamiliar with that my hands come down and grip. In most situations if I couldn't grip I'd probably be alright, in others might get a bruise, in an unexpected situation who knows. So yes it seems unfair to see trains full of riders with their hands up and not being able to ride for the lack of. The rules aren't in place for the common situation though.

These guidelines are also set for the "what if" situations.

For example, If there was a problem with The Beast and an evacuation is in order from one of the lift hills, one of the rules is that you have one hand on a hand-rail at all times... that's kind of hard to do with no hands.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to add while like many of you I love riding coasters with my hands pointed to the sky. However there are times especially on rides I'm unfamiliar with that my hands come down and grip. In most situations if I couldn't grip I'd probably be alright, in others might get a bruise, in an unexpected situation who knows. So yes it seems unfair to see trains full of riders with their hands up and not being able to ride for the lack of. The rules aren't in place for the common situation though.

These guidelines are also set for the "what if" situations.

For example, If there was a problem with The Beast and an evacuation is in order from one of the lift hills, one of the rules is that you have one hand on a hand-rail at all times... that's kind of hard to do with no hands.

In this theory, a person who uses a wheelchair wouldn't be able to ride because they can't walk down the lift hill. However, there are alternate routes to evacuate a person with physical disabilities down from a lift (usually a stair chair). Usually the disability restrictions are for the ride experience rather than the potential for evacuation. As was pointed out, acccording to guidelines you are supposed to grasp the restraint. All rides I've ever seen have this guideline. You are supposed to grasp some variety of handle or bar while riding. The lack of ability to do so is what prohibits certain individuals from riding because they cannot grasp the handle or bar.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are still Dick's stores with operational rock climbing walls? My local store closed the rock wall permanently years ago.

And as for the argument about grasping something, IANAL but if I were the judge, or on the jury, I'd take the simple fact that the rule about grasping something is not at all enforced (as clearly evidenced by the fact that riders put their hands in the air all the time) as proof that the rule is obviously not necessary and that it is therefore discrimination to enforce it on people with disabilities but not on people without disabilities.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to be able to brace yourself. I guarantee, if he was allowed to ride, his boat bumped the one in front of it, and he was injured because he couldn't brace himself against the lapbar properly, he'd begin litigation before he even exited the boat. "They knew this was a possibility, so they shouldn't have even let me ride knowing full well this was a possibility!" he'd claim. The park is in a no-win situation.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to be able to brace yourself. I guarantee, if he was allowed to ride, his boat bumped the one in front of it, and he was injured because he couldn't brace himself against the lapbar properly, he'd begin litigation before he even exited the boat. "They knew this was a possibility, so they shouldn't have even let me ride knowing full well this was a possibility!" he'd claim. The park is in a no-win situation.

You pointed out the phrasing that would make the argument that it's not "enforced" invalid. It says you must be able to, not that you must.

Link to post
Share on other sites

And as for the argument about grasping something, IANAL but if I were the judge, or on the jury, I'd take the simple fact that the rule about grasping something is not at all enforced (as clearly evidenced by the fact that riders put their hands in the air all the time) as proof that the rule is obviously not necessary and that it is therefore discrimination to enforce it on people with disabilities but not on people without disabilities.

The "rule" that you must be able to grasp something is more for the ability to evacuate safely than to hold on during the ride.

Same goes for those in wheelchairs. They need to be able to climb into the car w/o assistance so they are able to safely exit the car in the case of an evacuation.

The easiest standard is to prove guests can physically strap themselves in/ out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not uncommon for ride restrictions to change. I remember when anyone could ride Viking Fury at KI, then it was changed to one must have a chaperone if they are under a certain height. That change was literally implemented overnight in the middle of a season. The height requirement on Racer was also changed between seasons.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rcfreak339

You have to be able to brace yourself. I guarantee, if he was allowed to ride, his boat bumped the one in front of it, and he was injured because he couldn't brace himself against the lapbar properly, he'd begin litigation before he even exited the boat. "They knew this was a possibility, so they shouldn't have even let me ride knowing full well this was a possibility!" he'd claim. The park is in a no-win situation.

Took the words out of my mouth. The phrase "You must be able to brace yourself", is much more valid, and correct.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not uncommon for ride restrictions to change. I remember when anyone could ride Viking Fury at KI, then it was changed to one must have a chaperone if they are under a certain height. That change was literally implemented overnight in the middle of a season. The height requirement on Racer was also changed between seasons.

I believe Viking Fury now has a minimum regardless of whether with a chaperone or not. Top Thrill Dragster is another one where the height requirement was raised after it opened and kids who were able to ride it one year weren't able to the next.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...