Family Sues Universal Orlando for Not Posting Ride Warnings in Spanish

Private Queue Walkthrough at Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Skull Island: Reign of Kong Media Preview at Universal Orlando on August 3, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

A Guatemalan family filed a lawsuit against Universal Orlando theme park in Florida this month for not posting ride warning signs in Spanish.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the theme park, claiming that Universal Orlando was partially responsible for a 38-year-old father’s death because he suffered a heart attack after he rode on the “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” ride.

The entrance to the ride reportedly displayed a sign in English stating, “Warning! This ride is an expedition through the rough terrain of King Kong’s natural habitat. The movement of the truck is dynamic with sudden accelerations, dramatic tilting, and jarring actions.”

The warning continued, stating that people with heart, back, neck, and blood pressure issues should not get on the ride. Expectant mothers were also advised to refrain. Each of the English language warnings had visuals accompanying them.

The 38-year-old, Jose Calderon Arana, who had a history of heart problems, did not understand the English-language theme park warning signs because he spoke Spanish.

After Arana went on the ride, he sat down on a bench and told his family he had a stomachache. His wife and son left him on the bench while they went on another ride. When the family returned, they discovered Arana had collapsed.

Medics took him to a hospital for treatment, where he died, according to the lawsuit.

The family claimed in the suit that the theme park was negligent because it did not provide park warning signs in Spanish, adding that the park should not have delayed providing aid to Arana when he collapsed.

Lou Pendas, an attorney for the family, claimed it was not an unreasonable demand for a theme park in America to display signs in English, French, and Spanish so park-goers could make educated decisions about which attractions to enjoy.

Officials for Universal Orlando said they would not comment on pending litigation.


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