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SeaWorld Dealing With Lawsuit After Fight Broke Out At The Florida Park

Emperor roller coaster
(Image credit: Sea World San Diego)

Amusement parks are supposed to be fun escapes from reality where people can spend a day just having fun. But there are times when things don’t quite go according to plan.  One of those days has now resulted in a lawsuit against SeaWorld, a park that has been in the news a lot lately for things other than rides, as a family claims they were assaulted inside the park, and that park security did nothing to prevent the attack and did not do enough to help them afterward. 

According to the Orlando Sentinel, four people Aimee, Michael and Connor Johnson, along with Holly Witt, who is named on behalf of a child, filed a lawsuit  against SeaWorld on February 1. According to the suit, the family was in line for an attraction when a group of teens began to run into them in the line. When the family confronted them, the teens allegedly began to make threats. When the plaintiffs then got off the ride, the teens began to follow them, and before security could be located they were assaulted. The nature of the assault and extent of the injuries were not specified in the court filing. 

According to the suit, security only arrived to deal with the problem after the assault was over. Statements were taken but the teens were allowed to leave. The family then says they asked for an escort to the parking lot so they could go to the hospital, and were given a single security person. The teens were allegedly waiting in the parking lot and drove circles around the family, leaving before more security arrived. 

In a response filed by SeaWorld’s lawyer on Friday, the park claims that the family’s injuries were caused by negligence or carelessness on their own part. It’s also claimed that they provoked the other group, but no details on this were provided. 

The family is suing SeaWorld for $100,000 for the costs of medical care as well as ongoing mental and physical pain following the incident. The Orange County Sheriff has confirmed they responded to a call back in early May of last year regarding a fight on SeaWorld property but no other details were released.

Lawsuits are not entirely uncommon in parks. We’ve seen people get injured for a variety of reasons, which may or may not be the park’s fault. Sometimes, as in the case of a Universal water park lawsuit, the injuries can be significant. And we've seen physical altercations break out in parks as well. 

In all honesty fights in theme parks are too common. However, this may be the first time that we've seen a fight lead to a lawsuit against the park itself. It will certainly be interesting to see where this goes, assuming, of course, that it goes anywhere. These suits are frequently settled out of court before they ever make it in front of a jury. If that happens we’ll likely never know more details beyond this.  

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.