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Facing Lawsuit, Ky. Theme Park Countersues Over 'Staged' Injuries

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on October 30, 2014 12:01 PM

Kentucky Kingdom is countersuing two patrons who claim they were injured at the park, asserting the alleged waterpark injuries were "staged."

Louisville's WLKY-TV reports that Kentucky Kingdom CEO Ed Hart believes the pair had "some kind of plan to contrive incidents to get money" from the park. In a lawsuit, Felicia Evans and Brandon McClellan accused the park of negligently allowing them to go down a water slide using an incorrect inner tube.

But what does the theme park have to say about the alleged injuries?

Waterpark Disputes Facts

The alleged victims claim they were injured when they fell out of their inner tube on the Voodoo Express water slide, blaming both the lifeguards and the park for their injuries. According to Louisville's WAVE-TV, in its countersuit against the pair, Kentucky Kingdom sought to clarify some details:

  • Lifeguards don't give tubes to guests. Rather, "approved tubes are in the pen";
  • Kentucky Kingdom rides have height and weight limits, and McClellan and Evans "exceeded the maximum weight limit by over 70 pounds"; and
  • The pair did not wait for lifeguard instructions before going down the slide.

The park's belief that the injuries were part of a ploy to exact money from Kentucky Kingdom is supported by a sworn affidavit of a friend of Evans and McClellan. This friend claims that Evans told her friends "that she planned to intentionally get hurt at Kentucky Kingdom in order to obtain a settlement," WAVE reports.

Swimsuit or Countersuit

When a defendant in a suit (the person originally being sued) wants to sue the opposing party, it's generally called a counterclaim. Kentucky Kingdom was originally sued by Evans and McClellan for their injuries, but now the park is countersuing based on the allegations that the pair tried to intentionally hurt themselves to bilk some money out of the park.

Hart also added that four weeks before Evans and McClellan filed their suit, Evans' season pass was revoked "after she scaled a fence in a restricted area near a roller coaster." If the claims proceed to trial, it may be up to a jury to decide if the couple were reckless thrillseekers, hapless victims, or scheming con artists.

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