Huge controversy was stirred up by the lawsuit filed by Paula Noone, a 52-year-old artist from Tucson, Arizona, claiming she was severely injured while riding the Cyclone rollercoaster at Coney Island, as reported by the New York Daily News. Information has now been released that Noone was awarded $1.5 million by a Brooklyn jury.
This comes right on the heels of the famous wooden rollercoaster getting stuck at the top of the first giant hill just as it was about to descend into its deep plunge. All 24 passengers found themselves having to climb down from the 85-foot drop using the wooden planks on the track as steps.
Luna Park officials originally said the conveyor belt used to move the Cyclone slipped off its track. However, the New York Post reported later that it was a broken cable. It was unsettling to the riders regardless of the reason.
Now, to make matters worse for the Coney Island theme park, Paula Noone has been awarded $1.5 million dollars for her horrible experience on the Cyclone. What makes this jury decision so interesting is the fact that it was determined that Noone was 60 percent responsible for her own injuries sustained as she rode the Cyclone, as reported by the New York Daily News.
Noone’s lawyer, Thomas Giuffra, admitted that his client had sprained her neck five years prior. However, there was a sign at the Cyclone advising anyone who may “have” a neck injury should not ride the Cyclone.
Evidently, Noone felt that five years in the past was sufficient and decided to take the risk. Giuffra said she didn’t “have” a neck injury, as the sign stated — she “had” a neck injury. One could argue that’s just semantics.
The New York Daily News states that after riding Coney Island’s Cyclone, Noone was diagnosed with two herniated discs and a concussion when her “head and neck were violently propelled back and forth” during the course of the coaster ride. As if that weren’t bad enough, she also incurred post-traumatic stress disorder.
Giuffra explains the reasons behind the injuries Noone sustained from the rollercoaster.
“The first drop is a killer and she felt tremendous neck pain. You’re subjected to 6Gs of force and your body and neck was not properly supported.”
Noone feels somewhat lucky thinking that it could have been a lot worse. She was reminded of the 2007 death of Keith Shirasawa, who actually died five days after snapping his neck while riding on the Cyclone, as reported by the New York Daily News. At that time, this victim’s estate received a $250,000 settlement, which is a drop in the bucket to Noone’s $1.5 million.
Zamperla, the parent company of Luna Park and the new operator of the amusement park, says it has implemented new safety technology for the Cyclone.
However, that brings no reassurance to Brenda Young, who swears she will never step foot on another rollercoaster again.
[Photo Credit: NewYorkDailyNews.com, NYPost.com]