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article imageDisneyland guest stranded on ride is awarded $8,000 by judge

By Jeff Campagna     Mar 27, 2013 in World
Anaheim - Jose Martinez, a paraplegic bound to a wheelchair, has been awarded $8000 from Disneyland after he was stranded on a theme park ride back in November of 2009.
According to David Geffen, one of Martinez's attorneys, the popular "It's A Small World" ride broke-down, and while other patrons were able to evacuate the area, Martinez, a 52 year-old Los Angeles resident, could not access his wheelchair and so had to remain on the motionless ride while the famous theme song played continuously.
"They started evacuating other guests and weren't evacuating him," Geffen said. "They said they couldn't move him out of the cave. ... They didn't summon the fire department right way," UPI reports. Once Martinez was able to get onto solid ground, it took emergency crews almost three hours to get him medically stabilized.
According to NBC news, Suzi Brown, a spokeswoman with the Anaheim based theme park, claims they provided sufficient aid during the incident, and is disappointed that the Santa Ana court did not fully agree. Martinez suffers from chronic problems with diabetes, hypertension and anxiety disorder — all of which were aggravated while he was stuck on the ride.
The trial, which according to CBS, focused specifically on disabled access to Disneyland’s first aid station, resulted in a final settlement of $4,000 for negligence and $4,000 for other access violations.
“I find a breach of the common-law duty to provide safe premises,” said Judge Selna at the ruling. “I find that the breach caused harm to Mr. Martinez in that he was stuck on the ride. I find he was further harmed by not having the option to make an informed decision as to whether he wanted to take the ride, not-withstanding the possibility of the inconvenience in the event of an outage.”
CBS also reported that the judge's ruling went on to say the theme park has a duty to forewarn guests with disabilities that they could become stranded on the ride for long periods of time, under the condition that it breaks down.
More about Disneyland, Wheelchairs, Lawsuits, Persons with disabilities