Roller Coaster Ride Lawsuit Settled for King’s Island Amusement Park in Ohio
An amusement park accident victim in Ohio had his lawsuit settled last week. After a 2006 roller coaster accident on a ride called Son of Beast at King's Island, Jonathon Yanik suffered injuries to his shoulder which required surgery. His lawsuit sought compensatory damages in the amount of $500,000, as well as punitive damages in the amount of $350,000. The settlement came as the jury selection process was just beginning. The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed. Yanik's medical bills to date total $22,521. He has also suffered $22,000 in lost wages according to documents filed to the court. King's Island was also being sued by other victims of the Son of Beast accident. All except one of these lawsuits was settled before going to trial. The plaintiff in the lawsuit that was not settled, Jennifer Wright, won her case and the jury awarded her compensatory damages in the amount of $76,364. Before the decision was made with regard to punitive damages, this part of the case was settled for an amount that was not disclosed. The injuries Wright suffered were to her lower back and hip. The Son of Beast roller coaster is a giant wooden ride. Some of the timbers on the ride had splintered, creating impact when the car ran over the splintered section of the ride. A forensic engineer called King's Island's owners "negligent" and he said that King's Island "put passengers at risk." The recorded testimony by the forensic engineer in Wright's case was never heard by the jury because King's Island decided to make an offer to settle on punitive damages. An investigator, Rick Schmizze, claimed that King's Island's owners knew that the Son of Beast ride had problems. "They would fix them in a Band-Aid style and then wait and see what happened," he said. "They never really stopped and said 'we've got a problem with this ride as a whole.'" This testimony was never heard by the jury in Yanik's case as the lawsuit was settled.