Witnessing a dinosaur egg hatching must be a magical moment. Until, that is, you're punched on the chin by a mechanical arm.
That's what happened to a young girl visiting Universal Orlando in 2013, and she and her family finally settled a lawsuit against the theme park, for $75,000.
According to Orlando Weekly, the child was struck on the chin by a mechanical arm on the Dinosaur Egg Scanner attraction at Universal's Jurassic Park land: "The device was part of a display that offered display of fake dinosaur eggs 'hatching,' and visitors could pull a level to scan some of the eggs, which would result in a simulated scan image of a baby dinosaur on a screen." Universal claimed the scanner machinery was manufactured by a third party, but ultimately agreed to settle the case.
The settlement payments will be made into an annuity fund for the girl, referred to only as "L.M." in court filings. Only she (not her parents) will be able to access the funds, and not until 2027, when the fund will be worth an estimated $98,000.
Suing theme parks for injuries can be tricky. Many require guests to sign liability waivers that assert the park will not be legally responsible for any injuries. They may also argue that patrons have come for a little bit of danger, and have assumed the risk of any injuries they sustain. Still, as a public attraction theme parks are legally required to take reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises for guests. And most parks prefer to avoid the bad publicity of an on-site injury lawsuit, so they are often more likely to settle out-of-court.
If you have questions about injuries sustained at a theme park, or park liability in general, contact a local personal injury attorney.