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Two-piece swimsuits at a waterpark, sure. But how about two injury lawsuits?
Kentucky Kingdom's Hurricane Bay is now the subject of two lawsuits alleging that staff allowed patrons to use the wrong inner tube for a particular slide. Louisville's WDRB-TV reports that two patrons, Brandon McClellan and Felicia Evans, have filed suit against Kentucky Kingdom for injuries incurred after falling out of the slide.
Is Kentucky Kingdom liable for these waterpark victims?
'Wrong Size Inner Tubes'
Water slides are not, by nature, the safest place for the human body to rest. In fact, sometimes the most dangerous thing about a slide is the deadly microbes in its water. But in McClellan and Evans' cases, the alleged culprit was something more innocuous -- improperly sized inner tubes. Louisville's WAVE-TV reports that the pair claim that they were given "the wrong size inner tubes" at Hurricane Bay on June 3, causing them to "tip over" and be injured.
Hurricane Bay's website displays several rides in which one, two, or even five riders are sent shooting down a stream of water on an inner tube, many of which appear to be of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Given the ideal path on each slide for riders, it would stand to reason that a mismatched inner tube may lead to an unsafe ride.
It's unclear which ride McClellan and Evans were on when they were injured, but it's clear that they blame Kentucky Kingdom and its staff for their injuries. WDRB reports that McClellan allegedly suffered a shoulder injury after the fall while Evans allegedly suffered a head injury "which causes her seizures."
Barring a signed liability waiver by McClellan and Evans, it's possible that Kentucky Kingdom or its employees could bear the responsibility for the pair's injuries. If the Hurricane Bay ride's operators were indeed negligent in giving McClellan and Evans the wrong-sized inner tubes, Hurricane Bay will likely be the one found responsible. Negligent operation of rides or even improper maintenance of a ride are common ways for a theme park to be found liable.
Then again, if one of the Hurricane Bay employees intentionally swapped out the inner tubes, causing the pair to be injured, Kentucky Kingdom may be able to pin legal responsibility on that particular employee.
Kentucky Kingdom is being somewhat close-lipped about the incident, but WAVE reports that it did say that "there are always two sides to every story."