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Guest Sues Universal Orlando for Injury, Resort Places Blame on Her

Guest Sues Universal Orlando for Injury, Resort Places Blame on Her

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A female guest is suing Universal Orlando for suffering an electric shock at one of its parks. However, the Resort is blaming the woman instead. This makes me wonder: “What should the appropriate response be for guest injury?”

Back in June 2019, April Carlino was visiting Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay water park. It was there she suffered an electric shock on a walkway. An investigation after the accident determined the cause of the shock came from damaged wiring during construction. This sent electrical currents through the sidewalk, measured at 20-30 volts.

The Lawsuit

She is suing for more than $15,000 in damages. The lawsuit did not list her injuries.

The injuries did lead to “disability, disfigurement, permanent and significant scarring, mental anguish and loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life.”

Universal Orlando’s Response

Universal Orlando responded to her lawsuit just last month. They said she failed to use “reasonable care” for her own safety. Any injury, they claim, was due to a preexisting condition. Any preexisting condition was not listed on the lawsuit.

Everything you need to know about Universal's Volcano bay

Universal also claimed they did not know about the electrical problems, and thus did not know to warn guests of the danger or fix the issue. Federal investigators said Universal Orlando would not be cited for the faulty electrical wiring because they were unaware of the problem.

The response did not include how the guest should have known she would be shocked.

Who is responsible?

As far as we can tell, no one is at fault for the incident. However, this situation does leave me wondering: “who is responsible for accidents on Universal (or any theme park) property?”

It’s my belief that theme parks and any other business have a duty to protect their guests. They have insurance just like I have home owner’s insurance to protect anyone who walks through my door.

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I would hope that if something unfortunate happened to me, the theme park I was visiting would make every effort to assure me they would take care of me.

Perhaps coming to an agreement outside of court would have a better outcome for both parties.

What are your thoughts on this situation? Do you think theme parks should be responsible for their guests? Or, do you think they have no liability if an accident is determined to not be their fault? Share your thoughts over on the facebook page.

-Monica S.

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Thursday 30th of January 2020

I don’t see any indication from the article she was publicly blamed. It sounds like the author of the article is quoting from legal documents and everything posted in the article above is very standard legal procedure. As for whether this should have settled, we likely don’t know all the facts. Parks are usually very good at settling when it’s really their fault but are very aggressive defending ones they aren’t otherwise they’d face a wave of nuisance lawsuits from people seeking easy settlements.


Thursday 30th of January 2020

As a lawyer who’s done personal injury defense work for large corporations, the legal filings are often misleading. On the plaintiff’s side, the language about “disability, disfigurement, permanent and significant scarring, mental anguish and loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life” sounds like a standard list of possible injuries. The “at least $15,000 in damages” line is likely about meeting some jurisdictional requirement to avoid small claims court: the plaintiff will actually want much more. On the defendant’s side, the answer will almost always include affirmative defenses like accusing the plaintiff of not taking reasonable care; if the defendant doesn’t put it in the answer, they can’t make the argument later. In this case, it probably won’t apply, and will be dropped if this ever gets to trial.

This likely will settle for an undisclosed amount at some point. But don’t take the wrangling in legalese too seriously.


Wednesday 29th of January 2020

@Amy - the $15k is prob the nominal figure needed to get into a specific court. The plaintiff (and her lawyers) are likely seeking significantly more given the claims.

Based on the facts listed above, its hard to fault the guest. However it would be interesting to see what the preexisting conditions were that the park claims and how they relate to her listing of claims post electric shock.

Jake Ashworth

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

I would question how she was the only person in a busy theme park to get shocked...

Sarah Windisch

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

I feel that if it's my house, I am responsible for what ever goes on inside. The park should assume responsibility and cover any injury and damage for the patron who was on normal property. It's not like she was climbing a phone pole by the sounds of it. When someone is where they should not be, that is a different story. However it sounds like this person was just walking along on the regular path. I would expect that area to be safe, so with that assumption of safety I would assume also that the park provides a safe walk way.

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