The mother of an 11-year-old boy who was injured on the E.T. Adventure ride at Universal Studios Florida has filed a lawsuit against the theme park, claiming that Universal had been previously aware of problems with the “unreasonably dangerous” attraction.
The suit, filed by Roberta Perez in February, claims her son Tiago’s foot and part of his leg were crushed after he became stuck between the ride and an offloading platform, breaking multiple bones and requiring surgery.
Edmund Normand, the attorney for Perez and Tiago, described the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 31 accident as bloody, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He added that the circumstances surrounding the injury were “nonsensical.”
“Prior to this incident, [Universal] had knowledge that the design, manufacture, testing, construction, and/or operation of the E.T. Adventure ride, created an unreasonably dangerous ride resulting in injuries to guests, but [the theme park] continued to market the ride as safe to the unsuspecting public,” the lawsuit stated, per the Sentinel.
The lawsuit also acknowledged that Tiago’s feet were not on the bike pedals positioned near riders’ feet, though they were still inside the ride. Normand added that, unlike similar rides at Universal, the E.T. Adventure had no netting to protect riders’ legs.
A representative for Universal confirmed that the ride was closed off to guests the following day, and, as noted by Normand, ride operators now perform an additional safety check to make sure hands and feet are inside the ride before reaching the offloading platform.
Perez, who is from Brazil, is said to be seeking $15,000 in damages. Tiago has reportedly not returned to school since the accident, and still requires treatment in Brazil.
Universal’s E.T. Adventure debuted at the opening of Universal Studios Florida in 1990.