State And Regional

Woman hit by falling piece of Top Thrill Dragster files lawsuit against Cedar Point

SANDUSKY — The woman, who was injured in 2021 when a metal piece of the Top Thrill Dragster rollercoaster dislodged and hit her in the head, filed a lawsuit against the amusement park.

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The Michigan woman who was injured by a falling piece of the famed rollercoaster, Top Thrill Dragster in Cedar Point, sought compensatory and punitive damages. Her lawsuit blamed the company and employee negligence for her injury, WCPO reported.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the Erie County Common Pleas Court with the woman, her husband, and her father listed as plaintiffs against Cedar Point’s parent company Cedar Fair. Other individuals and corporations were also listed as defendants besides Cedar Fair.

The lawsuit claimed that the woman was permanently injured when the proximity flag plate came off the rollercoaster and struck her in her head. The injuries were as follows:

  • Head trauma with resultant traumatic brain injury
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage with cerebral edema due to traumatic head injury
  • Cerebral venous thrombosis of the sigmoid sinus
  • Right subdural hematoma
  • Communicating hydrocephalus with VP shunt placement
  • Right open skull fracture associated with cerebral laceration and contusions and resultant prolonged loss of consciousness (more than 24 hours)

The woman’s medical expenses exceeded $2 million with future treatment expected to cost over $10 million, according to the lawsuit. In addition, the defendant claimed that she lost an earning capacity of about $1.3 million after her injury hurt her chances to be employed as an educator.

The lawsuit pointed fault at Cedar Fair, and other associated individuals, for failing to take care when installing the proximity flag plate, and inspecting and maintaining the ride for the safety of their guests. Furthermore, the defendants reportedly interfered with and destroyed evidence by dismantling, destroying, and removing the return side of the Top Thrill Dragster Ride—in spite of a written request from the plaintiffs to preserve all evidence, including trains and the track.

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News Center 7 previously reported that the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) investigated the incident when a woman was hit in the head by a bracket the size of the average adult male’s hand. The incident happened on August 15 while the woman was standing in line for the ride.

Upon inspection, it was determined that half of the bolts which secured the plate to the train body dislodged. ODA inspectors also found that the brake bracket area of the track, which slows the cars at the end of each ride, showed signs of impact and deformation. Several horizontal track beams also showed signs of impact within approximately 25 feet of the damaged brake bracket.

ODA prevented the use of Top Thrill Dragster during their investigation.

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