A woman has initiated legal proceedings against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts due to serious injuries she allegedly sustained during a visit to Typhoon Lagoon years ago. According to court records, her lawsuit claims negligence on the part of Disney.
The incident occurred in October 2019 when the woman, celebrating her 30th birthday, decided to experience “The Humunga Kowabunga.”
This high-speed waterslide boasts a near-vertical, five-story drop and spans 214 feet across three body tubes, culminating in a nearly five-story plunge into a pool at nearly 40 mph.
Dressed in a one-piece bathing suit, the woman embarked on what she anticipated would be an exhilarating adventure.
However, the lawsuit alleges that Disney failed to adequately explain the safety protocols, particularly the recommendation to cross one’s legs, which, according to the plaintiff, should have been clarified for women due to their anatomy and swimwear.
The lawsuit contends that when riders descend to the slide’s base and enter the pool meant to halt their journey, the force of the water can lead to garments becoming lodged in uncomfortable positions – a “wedgie.”
The lawsuit argues, “Because of a woman’s anatomy, the risk of a painful “wedgie” is more common and more serious than it is for a man.”
Furthermore, the plaintiff argues that her injury, categorized as an “injurious wedgie,” could have been prevented had Disney provided instructions on appropriate attire for riding the Humunga Kowabunga slide.
The lawsuit asserts, “The risk of injury to a rider’s genitalia and internal organs can be eliminated by using shorts or other protective clothing to act as a barrier and to prevent clothing or water from being forced inside his or her body when slammed into the pool of water at the end of The Slide.”
Disney, it contends, does not offer such guidance or protective shorts, nor does it warn riders of the associated risks.
Upon completing her descent, the plaintiff described experiencing immediate and severe internal pain. Upon standing up, she noticed bleeding.
The Park immediately transported her to the hospital, where she underwent treatment for severe injuries, including vaginal lacerations, a full-thickness laceration causing a bowel protrusion through her abdominal wall, and harm to her internal organs.
The lawsuit is seeking damages of at least $50,000, alleging that the slide is “unsafe and unreasonably dangerous” and asserts that Disney’s negligence is a contributing factor.
The court filing further notes that while the plaintiff followed instructions by crossing her legs at her ankles as she entered the slide, the impact during the descent caused her swimsuit to painfully lodge between her legs and forced water into her, resulting in immediate severe internal pain.
Serious Safety Concerns
Disney is accused of negligence for not adequately warning riders about the slide’s potential risks and for failing to inform them about proper protective swimwear.
Disney’s alleged negligence further raises questions about safety at amusement parks.
As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how the court will weigh the allegations of negligence against one of the world’s most iconic entertainment companies.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Joshua Rainey Photography