Family sues Dublin waterpark on behalf of son, who still feels as if he’s falling

Susannah Jones’ 10-year-old son had already gone down the Emerald Plunge, a brand-new slide in Dublin’s brand-new water park, The Wave. He raced back up the 48-foot-high tower. This time he wanted an audience.

“He came to us and said ‘Watch me,’” recalled Jones, who was at the opening day of The Wave, May 27, with her son, daughter and husband. Her son’s second ride on the slide turned into a nightmare before her eyes. As the boy hit the bottom straightaway after a plunge from 48 feet, he hydroplaned up the side of the half-pipe. He hung precariously on the lip and then was propelled over the side. He hit the cement and skidded to a stop.

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Parents of boy flung from The Wave water slide to sue Dublin, manufacturer

“I couldn’t get to him fast enough,” Jones said Tuesday at a news conference to announce a $2.5 million lawsuit against the city of Dublin, The Wave, the manufacturers of the slide and the contractors and subcontractors who installed the slide. “I wanted to fly. I didn’t know that he was ever going to get up.”

The news conference was held outside the water park, the Emerald Plunge fully visible above the fence. A poster-sized blow-up of the boy’s back showed a bright red wound. Another blow-up, a screen grab from a video shot by Bay Area News Group photographer Jose Fajardo, showed the boy draped over the lip of the slide. What you can’t sense is the tremendous speed at which riders were traveling on that slide, that day.

Ron Hayduk, the boy’s father, said a park employee told him after the incident that the manufacturer had tested for height requirements for the slide, but not for weight.

“Really?” Hayduk said. “My son’s the guinea pig? It’s outrageous.”

The boy, now 11, whose name his parents asked be withheld, is “recovering.” He hit his head but did not suffer a concussion, his mother said. “A pediatric dermatologist said the abrasions on his back where technically burns,” she said. “He hasn’t returned to all his activities yet.”

Whereas the legal process, and the fight to duck liability, is steaming full speed ahead. There is a lot at stake. The parents of the boy are interested in making this case a referendum on water parks throughout the country.

“We’ve learned there is not federal regulations for water parks,” Hayduk said. “Every state has its own.”

“California has failed in this case,” said Waukeen A. McCoy, the attorney retained shortly after the incident by the boy’s parents. “This isn’t about one accident and one family.”

The city said in a statement Monday that it “and its legal representatives have attempted to reach an amicable settlement with the family. However, the family lawyer has refused to provide any information about the family’s injuries that would be necessary to resolve the claim.”

“They offered zero,” McCoy said.

Whitewater, manufacturer of the water park, also claims to have attempted to reached an …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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