Ky. Kingdom claims recent lawsuits were planned before the incid - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. Kingdom claims recent lawsuits were planned before the incident

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Reckless. That's how the Ed Hart, the President and CEO of Kentucky Kingdom, describes two lawsuits filed against the amusement park two weeks ago.

Now Kentucky Kingdom is fighting back.

The lawsuits were filed by attorney Hal Friedman on behalf of Brandon McClellan and Felicia Evans, who Friedman believes were on the ride together.

Both lawsuits claim staff at the water park instructed and/or allowed the plaintiffs to use the wrong tube for the slide they were on, which is what allegedly caused them to fall out of the tube and get hurt.

McClellan claims to have suffered a shoulder injury in the fall, while Evans claims to have suffered a head injury which causes her seizures.

Evans's lawsuit alleges staff members at the bottom of the slide were improperly trained on what to do in the event of an injury. When Evans reached the bottom of the slide, the lawsuit states she "received little or no assistance from Kentucky Kingdom employees, who appeared untrained and unclear regarding their obligations or responsibilities."

Hart says his attorneys have filed a counter claim denying the allegations and asking that the Evans lawsuit be dismissed; Hart says his legal team is still formulating a response to the McClellan suit.

Kentucky Kingdom's counter claim contains an affidavit from someone who said Evans told them that "her objective was to intentionally get hurt to obtain a settlement from Kentucky Kingdom."

Hart sat down with us to explain why he is so upset about the lawsuits.

"We have a responsibility to defend our lifeguards when somebody's trying to say that they're not trained, that they're not diligent," Hart said.

He continued: "I have a responsibility as the president of the company to make sure those young men and women are protected from these ridiculous complaints. And we take that responsibility very seriously. Often times, this is the first job they have in the marketplace. And we don't want anybody to take cheap shots at them.

Hart says park employees could not have provided the wrong size tube because there is only one size, and he says the plaintiffs ignored signs posting a weight limit and got on the slide anyway.

Hart says no other lawsuits have been filed against Kentucky Kingdom in its first year of reopening. He says there are plenty of attorneys looking for a quick pay and he wants to discourage that by responding to the lawsuits. 

Wednesday afternoon, the attorney for Evans and McClellan responded, saying he disputes that claim. And, says, his clients aren't the only ones to be injured at Hurricane Bay.

“My firm has received at least five additional calls from individuals who claim to have been injured on KK slides, and I'm fairly confident that at least one other law firm in town has also received a call, because they contacted us about that very issue,” attorney Hal Friedman said.

Friedman says Kentucky Kingdom was notified by another park visitor who was also injured on the Voodoo Express, about a week before his clients.

“That individual wrote to KK, sent an email to them, advising that the slide was dangerous, advising that they need to consider some corrective measures.”

Friedman says Kentucky Kingdom refused to take those measures.

Hart says Kentucky Kingdom will fight this case to the end.

Related:

Two lawsuits filed alleging untrained staff at Kentucky Kingdom led to water slide injuries

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