A physician who rode a roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey has filed a personal injury lawsuit after suffering a severe spinal cord injury on the ride. Dr. Christopher Fabricant has already needed one spinal surgery and is expected to need extensive medical care in the future as a result of the “whiplash-type injuries” cited in his claim.
Dr. Fabricant claims that the Kingda Ka rollercoaster ride presents a danger to riders who are above a certain height, and that park employees failed to provide him with warnings that he “was not a candidate for safe riding.” The 6’2” tall physician went on the ride in 2017, which is advertised as the “fastest roller coaster in North America,” to accompany his son.
Rollercoaster’s “Extreme Speed and Torqueing Forces” Blamed for Spinal Cord Injury
According to Dr. Fabricant’s lawsuit, the spinal cord injury that he suffered was caused by the fact that his head extended above the rear of the seat as the ride accelerates to 128 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds, then descends in a 270-degree spiral. This led to whiplash injuries. Additionally, the suit charges that the ride’s safety harness can cause severe damage to the vertebrae of taller patrons. It further describes injuries suffered by the physician as the locking system prevents the harness from loosening, but not tightening and during the ride it became tighter and tighter, causing “excruciating” pain in his shoulders. He was later diagnosed with “an acute rupture of at least two intervertebral discs.”
The spinal cord injury suffered by the physician has led to him seeking treatment from several doctors, an emergency room visit, and eventual surgery. He anticipates at least one more surgery and “additional medical treatment” for the rest of his life and is seeking compensation for the damages that he suffered.