Paula Noone was expecting to have a fun time at Coney Island when she arrived on a sunny day in 2008. Unfortunately, she was actually injured while riding on one of the roller coasters at the park. She ended up filing a civil personal injury suit against the park and the roller coaster operator. The case took several years to final get through the courts and into the trial portion of litigation. The case ended with a positive judgment for Noone although things were not as simple as anyone originally thought.
The incident took place after Noone was strapped into the roller coaster and already speeding along the track. It appears some problem with the coaster caused her head and neck to keep whipping around violently for the entire duration of the ride. When Noone finally emerged from the coaster, she needed medical attention. An examination later showed that she had received a concussion from the all the motion. Medical professionals also found out that she had two herniated discs in her spine. The experts were certain that the injuries came from riding the roller coaster.
Something that complicates this case is the fact that Noone actually had previous injuries. She had received a neck injury as the result of an accident five years prior to getting on the roller coaster. She claimed that the injury was healed and should not have been a problem. The defendants tried hard to prove that Noone should have attempted to ride the roller coaster because of the existing neck injuries.
The case was heard by a jury in court and eventually settled in 2015. The jury felt that the evidence pointed to the coaster operators and the park owners. One issue is that Noone was likely not properly strapped into the seat allowing her head to move far more than it should have on the ride. The second issue is that the operator was not accelerating at a safe rate. These two factors combined to cause injuries to Noone that should never have occurred if the correct procedures were followed.
The jury initially awarded Noone $1.5 million. They also found that she was more than half-responsible for her own injuries. This lowered her verdict to just around $600,000. She is appealing the verdict with the help of her attorney and wants to recoup the full original amount awarded. This case is a good example of why having the right lawyer makes all the difference when trying to recover your damages from a personal injury.