Saturday, January 5, 2013

California court rules bumper cars risky, may cause injury

One of those rare breaths of sanity from CA:
“Riders on Rue le Dodge, in other words, are not passively carried or transported from one place to another. They actively engage in a game, trying to bump others or avoid being bumped themselves,” the court found. “The rationale for holding the operator of a roller coaster to the duties of a common carrier for reward—that riders, having delivered themselves into the control of the operator, are owed the highest degree of care for their safety—simply does not apply to bumper car riders’ safety from the risks inherent in bumping.”

The California Supreme Court opinion turned to a quote from Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, former Chief Justice of the New York Court of Appeals, who more than 80 years ago said “the attractions of the amusement park ‘are not the pleasures of tranquillity.’”

Justice Joyce Kennard, who dissented with the majority questioned whether the “plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risk of the type of harm that ensued from her decision to ride the bumper car, ‘with knowledge and appreciation of that risk.’”
Well, she assumed some sort of risk since she let her 9 year-old son drive it!

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