A doctor who broke her wrist while fooling around in a children’s bumper car ride, lost a lawsuit brought against the theme park to pay for her injuries, according to court proceedings in California.
The California Supreme Court sided with a lower court and overturned the appeals court ruling, rejecting a lawsuit filed by San Jose doctor Smriti Nalwa, who broke her wrist while riding on a "Rue le Dodge" car driven by her 9-year-old son in the Great America theme park in Santa Clara.
Her car was hit in the front and rear, and Nalwa, who is an obstetrician-gynecologist, was injured when her hand slammed into the dashboard.
In a 6 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the "basic assumption of risk rule, which usually applies to sports, also applies to some other recreational activities like bumper car rides." The judges
added that the rule applies "even though amusement parks are subject to state safety regulations and although the park owners have an increased obligation to participants for utmost care for rides such as roller coasters.”
The judges also ruled that “a small degree of risk inevitably accompanies the thrill of speed on curves and loops, defying gravity or bumper cars, participating in mock violence in low-speed collisions," Judge Kathryn Werdegar wrote. "Those who voluntarily join these activities also voluntarily take risks," she added.