Disney Reneges On Ride Injury Payment Promise, Reader Wins With EECB

Disney, inventors of childhood itself, told Daniel they would foot the bill after he got injured on their California Adventure ride. Then when Daniel and his wife Jane tried to collect, they got strung along for months by Garth Steever in guest claims. When they finally locked him down 11 months after the incident, Garth told them Disney changed its mind. By this time, the medical bills had already been sent to collections. Then Jane read about how to send an EECB on The Consumerist, and stormed the ramparts of Cinderella Castle. Here’s her letter, and success story…

Dear Disney,

My name is Jane [redacted]. On September 28th, 2007, my husband, Daniel, and I went to California Adventure on the 2nd day of our two-day Disney pass. Around 11 a.m. we rode the Maliboomer. After our ride was over, I got off the attraction, but Daniel stayed to ride again. While I waited on a bench, Daniel went to get back on and in the process fell and hit his head on the ground, knocking him unconscious and cutting his forehead open. Almost instantly, numerous park officials were at the ride helping him. The care he was given at the park was comprehensive and prompt, and for that we are appreciative. While waiting for the ambulance, he and I had a conversation with a very kind Disney nurse. We discussed the process of how Disney would handle this incident, and she said not to worry, that we should give the hospital Daniel’s health insurance information and Disney would reimburse the insurance company (United Health Care). In addition, she said Disney would send us two passes to the parks to make up for the day we missed due to the incident. I don’t remember her name, and I apologize for that, but I’m sure you can understand I was distraught. We went to Western Medical Center where Daniel was treated and released several hours later.

Several months later, we started receiving bills from the hospital and ambulance service for the co-pays and deductibles that Daniel’s insurance did not satisfy. Thinking what we were told about the billing to be the truth, we called the companies and advised them that they would receive payment from Disney. We kept receiving bills, so finally in February we were able to get in touch with Disney Guest Claims, and they advised us that the claim had been assigned to Mr. Garth Steever.

From February to August, we tried over and over to get in touch with Mr. Steever to have a complete conversation about Disney’s position on the incident. Mr. Steever would occasionally return a call or email and ask when a good time was to call us back to discuss. We would give him a date and time, but he would not call back. This finally came to a head last Friday (August 15th) when we were contacted by a collection agency. Daniel and I are both hard workers and have spent our entire lives building good credit, so to have our credit harmed by something that should have been settled almost a year ago is absolutely unacceptable. I left an urgent voicemail for Mr. Steever, and when I still had not heard back from him after several hours, I got in touch with his manager, Mr. Bob Weise. Mr. Weise apologized for Mr. Steever’s continuous lack of response and scheduled a teleconference for Mr. Steever, my husband, and myself for 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, August 19th.

By the time Mr. Steever did call on the 19th it was almost 2 p.m. EST. He advised us that Disney investigated and decided that it was not liable for the incident, so they would not pay the lien the insurance company served them (which occurred on Feburary 20th, but coincidentally we heard nothing about until this phone conversation), and therefore could not make a good faith payment to us. He also explained that if the insurance company had not served a lien against Disney, then Disney would have more “flexibility” to pay the claim. We asked him if that meant that if Daniel didn’t have insurance that Disney would pay the claim, and he said “yes.”

Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t to us. Essentially, Disney is punishing us for being hard-working, conscientious people who have the foresight to protect ourselves by purchasing health insurance.

We asked how Disney determined that it was not liable, and Mr. Steever advised that he researched a state inspection of the ride (that was conducted a few days after the incident occurred) and also interviews with Disney employees. This was the first we heard about any of this, and when I told him that we would need copies of the state inspection and the employee interviews, he told me that we are not allowed to receive copies of the interviews because they are confidential Disney property. Once again, this does not make sense. We are not allowed access to documents concerning my husband and his injury?

When I asked Mr. Steever when they determined that Disney was not liable and therefore not willing to pay the claim, he advised it was “sometime in April.” Again, this conversation took place on August 19th, so that is a full four months that we were left in the dark about this. When I asked him why it took him so long to let us know, he said he was sorry, but he “dropped the ball.” I’m sure you will agree that any “dropped ball” that damages someone else’s credit is a pretty serious ball to drop. Is it standard Disney practice to wait four months to let an injured party know that their claim has been denied? Clearly we are infuriated. If we had not been told in the first place that Disney would pay the costs arising out of the incident, this never would have happened. But more importantly, if Mr. Steever had done his job and notified us promptly about Disney’s decision, our credit would not have been harmed.

Daniel and I are not out to gain financially from this. We want the bills paid and this situation to be rectified immediately as we were told it would be from the beginning. So we expect Disney to reimburse Daniel’s insurance company for what they have paid and to pay the deductible amounts that have been billed to us. A summary of the totals is below.

Billing Company | Amount Paid by Insurance | Amount Billed to Us

Pacific Shores Radiology Medical Group | $120.00 | $80.00
CARE Ambulance Service, Inc. | $379.20 | $344.80
JJ&R Emergency Medical Group of California, Inc. | $214.81 | $53.70
Western Medical Center Anaheim | $897.26 | $299.31
TOTAL | $1,611.27 | $777.81

In addition, we expect Disney to cooperate and provide any documentation we may need in order to repair our credit. Coincidentally, we never received those park passes we were promised, either.

I am copying this email to several companies that make customer service a priority. I can be reached any weekday after 4:30 p.m. EST and any time during the weekend at [redacted]. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to a quick and satisfactory resolution to this issue.

Sincerely,

Jane [redacted]

This email did just the trick and we got a call the next day. Disney advised they will pay all the bills AND give us the passes to Disney.

We got the idea from your website. Thanks so much!

It’s easy to send an EECB like Jane and so many other Consumerist readers have to done, solving the seemingly irresolvable. Here’s how to get started.

(Photo: sanctumsolitude)

Comments

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  1. Milesthecat says:

    Why should Disney pay anything? Was it their fault? Need more info other than “Daniel went to get back on and in the process fell”. Did Tigger trip him?

  2. NightSteel says:

    Here’s hoping it doesn’t take almost a year for them to decide that they won’t be following up after all.

  3. Dave says:

    That was my sent by my sister– good one, Jane!

  4. dorrdon says:

    It doesn’t matter if the original accident was Disney’s fault or not. An agent of Disney said that they would pick up the expenses, and the actions the victim took were based on what the agent said.

  5. hermanfish says:

    Jane is an idiot for having this posted on the internet. Any ride injury is handled through Disneyland’s “guest claims” office which is essentially part of their legal department. I would almost guarantee that Jane had to sign a confidentiality agreement when she was given this settlement/compensation. By posting this on the web, she now will likely lose the money and Disney very well may come after her for any damages.

    Injury claims are handled very, very differently than your standard complaints at Disneyland (eg. the ride broke down on me, the employee was rude). That is why it took longer and there were more hoops involved in getting her claim handled. She was working with a division of the legal department, not your standard customer service office.

  6. danep says:

    I’m typically not one to blame the consumer, but… you fell while walking? And that somehow constitutes a “ride injury?”

  7. Fly Girl says:

    I agree with Milesthecat– I’d like to know a little more about WHY the fall was Disney’s fault. If he just tripped over a step or stumbled or something, how is that Disney’s problem? I’m not saying it WASN’T Disney’s fault, I just want to know more about why it was.

    There’s a pretty big gap in the OP’s timeline– so, the people at the park were like “ACK! Don’t sue us! We’ll pay for everything!!!” That’s in September. They don’t have any contact with Disney again until February? That’s a loooooooong time to wait to sort things out.

    If the total bill was just $777, and Disney was being difficult, it probably would have been wise to just scrounge up the change and pay the bill (in order to ensure that their good credit remains intact) and then take Disney to court to get reimbursement…

    It’s ridiculous that it would take Disney six months (February to August) to call the OP back to tell them that they had no intention of paying on the claim and that they felt they weren’t liable. If they did the inspection a few days after the accident, couldn’t they have called the OP in October to tell her that they were SOL on on their own? I don’t know why it would have taken until April to determine culpability and then another four months to contact the guests.

    C’mon, Disney, I don’t know if you should have paid the claim or not, but I do know that it shouldn’t take damn near a year to tell someone if you’re going to.

  8. toddiot says:

    Did Disney help out with their credit as well?

  9. Onouris says:

    Holy shit on a pair of greased hockey sticks, $1,611 for a cut on the forehead and a few hours in the hospital?

    I’m in on some of that money making action.

    • ohiomensch says:

      @Onouris:

      My mom had a heart attack and her 45 min helicopter ride was billed to the insurance company at $35,000. Yep thirty-five thousand dollars.

  10. SkokieGuy says:

    @hermanfish:

    I will not call YOU an idiot, because I am aware of the comment code, which you clearly are not.

    Regardless of whether Disney “Guest Claims” is really their legal department is irrelevant.

    The facts that Jane posted include:

    Appointments for calls were made and not kept.
    Investigations conducted which the injured party was not made aware of.
    No supporting documentation regarding the investigation or denial of claim.
    No notification of the insurance company lien.
    Admission by Disney personnel that an unisured person would have had the claim covered.

    I could go on. Disney’s behavior was outrageous, and whether the claim was handled by attorney’s or not in no way excuses the poster’s legitimate beefs.

    Tinkerbell is NOT going to shower you with any fairy dust.

  11. Ben Popken says:

    Let’s keep it civil. None of you know exactly how the fall occurred…but we do know that Disney lied and blew Jane off for a year and she had to turbo her complaint to the top to get any progress.

    • sandwiches says:

      @Ben Popken: Truth is, Ben, we don’t know that the nurse actually said what Jane is claiming. All we have is her word and not even a name. Quite honestly, I don’t think that Disney was at fault and unless Jane can prove the nurse actually said that, I’m not even sure that even lied to her.

  12. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    hermanfish, do not call the victim an idiot. That’s inappropriate – do not do this again.

  13. JulesWinnfield says:

    The OP and the many unhelpful comments prove one thing: if you get hurt on someone else’s property, you’d better hire a lawyer, and quick. I can almost guarantee that Disney KNEW it was at fault and was concerned about the risk of going before a jury and having to pay a lot more.

    Big corporations otherwise don’t just roll over and pay up.

    • @JulesWinnfield: And get stuff in writing, or witnessed. I once got into a car accident, and a cop who witnessed it came over and said to me, “It was def the other guys fault”. I had three friends with me. As soon as he left, I went “Did you all hear that?” As soon as they said yes, I felt 1000x better. Till the whiplash caught up with me the next day. I didn’t sue, BTW, just got my car fixed and my one Dr. visit paid for.

  14. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Even if it was only a trip over a stair, its Disney property and they are liable for any injuries sustained on it (barring physical violence between parties not affiliated with Disney of course)

    They are more than covered to handle insurance claims of this nature (and more than wealthy, to boot). Why they decided to deny the claim BECAUSE the injured party had insurance is beyond me.

  15. BreadBoy says:

    I vote to drop the ban-hammer on @hermanfish

  16. ARPRINCE says:

    Wow…it was a nice ending indeed! But, it would have been better if that Mr. Stinker or Steever have been fired!

  17. Congratulations, Consumerist commenters. Your continued, irrelevant OP-blame has finally soured me on the site. New and improved commenter code or not, it’s gotten ridiculous. Your conjecture and extrapolation makes you look more like Clouseau than Sherlock.

    I have a great, personal post-worthy successful EECB story that I’d love to share, but there’s no way I’m going to, knowing what the response would be in the comments.

    Commence banhammer if you desire, Ben et al. Although I’m sure nobody cares but me, I’m done.

  18. Johnny_Danger says:

    Nice to see a good resolution!

    I’ve come to see that the “Disney Magic” gets less magical when Mickey whips out the lawyers more often lately. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the company.

    And y’know, they could park about 70 cars at ($12 bucks a pop now!!!) and have this whole thing paid off in a few minutes. ;)

  19. Murph1908 says:

    Did anyone else read that attraction name as “Mailbomber” the first time through?

    I agree with Disney here. I see no need for compensation, and the OP should have paid the bills and fought later. Letting it go to collections wasn’t necessary.

    • Riddler says:

      @Murph1908:
      “I agree with Disney here. I see no need for compensation.”

      Disney paid. Do you mean you agree with Disney’s initial position?

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Murph1908: I agree they *should* have paid the bills and asked questions later, but what if they were UNABLE to pay the bill?

      Unfortunately, as has been shown by this post, insurance does not guarantee affordable medical care.
      I know that if I suddenly got into a (god-forbid) horrible accident, even though I have an emergency fund, I would be unable to responsibly pay for and budget a $2,300 medical fee, let alone anything more serious. That’s just ridiculous for a scratch on the head!

  20. @Onouris

    That’s just what the insurance paid. There’s still that $777 that the OP was billed that was not covered by the insurance, making for a grand total of over $2,300. Over $700 of that was for the less-than-1-mile-ambulance-trip. And what did the OP’s husband get for his $700? His BP and heart rate were probably taken once or twice, and he got to ride in the back of an ambulance. I bet when he got there, he still had to wait in triage. Ever wonder what EMT stands for? Expensive Medical Taxi. Disney should have saved these people that extra expense and driven them there themselves.

    • Murph1908 says:

      @FightOnTrojans:

      Just because the husband himself didn’t need the full breadth of th medical training and facilities that an ambulance and crew are capable of providing, it doesn’t mean an ambulance shouldn’t be sent.

      I’d rather not have a Disney employee decide that I am ok without an ambulance.

      Ambulances are expensive because of the training the EMTs have, the medical equipment that they can bring to your emergency, and, sadly, the insurance they need to carry because of our overly-litigious society.

    • angryhippo says:

      @FightOnTrojans:

      To second Murph1908, with a head injury with loss of consciousness? Nobody there, including the nurse, was qualified to properly assess what damage was done. Getting the victim stabilized and transported is the priority, not future insurance charges.

  21. Riddler says:

    “…so that is a full four months that we were left in the dark about this. When I asked him why it took him so long to let us know, he said he was sorry, but he ‘dropped the ball.’…”

    I obviously can’t know what Disney was thinking, but I’d be willing to bet that they were hoping to use the statute of limitations to bar your claim.

  22. sketchy says:

    Disney Stinks and handled this poorly, however as other commenters have noted it is a legal matter, and should not to left up to good faith. After the first few missed calls it might have been a good time to at least draft a letter with their expected settlement in it and let Disney know that the next step was lawyering up.

    This part gets to me though, “Essentially, Disney is punishing us for being hard-working, conscientious people who have the foresight to protect ourselves by purchasing health insurance.”. I’m so, so tired of hearing this phraseology as it is; trite; contrived; and transparent. It is an emotional appeal and, as such, should be avoided in any type of formal correspondence.

    In an EECB situation state your case simply and quote a case / file / ticket number or give the name of your initial or current contact and let them handle it. Providing a punch-by-punch account can come back to bite you in the ass if and when it goes before a Judge or arbitrator or mediator. Whatever you write in the meantime will be used as evidence and if you can’t repeat it word-for-word, credibility=zero. Just some friendly advice.

  23. colinjay says:

    @Oranges w/ Cheese

    While I agree with your statement, Disney’s wealth is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    I also agree that whether or not the accident was caused due to the negligence of the company, a representative of the company (a Disney nurse) gave the OP the impression that Disney would foot the bill.

    IANAL, but if that part could be corroborated, it might not matter exactly what happened to cause the accident.

    That is why most places train their employees to react appropriately in an emergency but not to admit fault or liability until there is a chance to assess the situation and the circumstances around it.

    This is pure conjecture of course, but it sounds to me like a Disney employee spoke out of haste, and after an investigation that would have cleared them of liability was concluded, Disney became aware that they had to foot the bill as a CYA.

    The OP was completely correct to assume that regardless of the circumstances of the accident, that Disney would do as they said they would and foot the bill. Disney is a company that plans for these eventualities and has a process in place, not the park goers. How would she have any way to know what that process is other than to go by what she was told?

    • @colinjay: @dorrdon: I am NOT blaming the OP here, but she states that she was distraught, and did not remember the nurses name. The human memorey/mind is a weird thing, and w/o meaning to do it, you can remember “things” that never happened. There are numerous studies where people where told things happened and they can vividly remember them, only to be told at the end of the study that they never happened. I wonder if perchance this is how she remembered the convo, given her emotional state. As someone who has received two seperate head injuries, even small injuries bleed like crazy and look A LOT worse than they usually are. I wonder why the nurse would say Disney would re-imburse the insurance company, b/c in all my dealings w/insurance, I never had to pay the insurance company anything back. As someone said once, there are three sides to every story, person A’s, person B’s, and the truth that usually lies in between. I am glad that Disney paid the remainder of their bills, and again, that Daniel appears to be OK.

      • colinjay says:

        @Git Em SteveDave is starlost:

        My assumptions that the OP is telling the truth are based on the final outcome. If the OP’s claim was based on distorted memories, Disney doesn’t pay out on an incident where an internal investigation cleared them of being at fault.

        None of us here have all of the facts of the matter, but obviously Disney felt they had some obligation to pay up, otherwise they wouldn’t have.

  24. orlo says:

    “Renegs”?! Comon!

  25. @Murph1908 & @angryhippo

    Having worked for both an amusement park and an ambulance company, I guess I’ve become slightly (overly?) tired of using an ambulance for every little thing. You won’t believe some of the trivial complaints people call an ambulance for. I wasn’t there at this incident, so I should not have criticized it as I did. I completely missed the part of loss of consciousness and that does make a difference. But, what I was trying to ultimately get at was what Murph1908 said: ambulance trips are ridiculously expensive for all those things that s/he said, plus the amount that the ambulance companies have to write off each year due to non-payment and pass on to the paying customer. Thanks for the correction, guys.

  26. Atlantys says:

    And people still think that universal health care isn’t the way to go?

    • godlyfrog says:

      @colinjay: Someone I knew (stepfather of an ex-girlfriend) was stealing from a large local insurance company that he worked for. It ended up being about $5000 worth of equipment over a year and a half period. When they caught him, they fired him without pressing charges because it would have put their name in the paper. To a company like Disney, $777.81 is a cheap price to pay to keep their name out of the papers. Any executive can see that, and I’m sure this Mr. Steever will be getting retrained to learn to see this sort of thing as well.

  27. stanhubrio says:

    No typos in titles, please. Reneges. Thank you.

  28. mc959 says:

    If someone gets hurt on your property, your property insurance should kick in and take care of their medical bills regardless of fault. Surely the same would apply in this case? But even if it doesn’t, as was stated before, a Disney employee set the expectation that it would be taken care of, so it should have been taken care of. It’s not like they tried to sue Disney for “pain and suffering” or anything like that, they just wanted the medical bills paid, seems pretty reasonable to me. And from what I’ve seen in the past, Disney is usually pretty good about these kinds of things, it sounds like the guy they had to deal with is just a bad employee.

  29. baristabrawl says:

    I would have paid the bills, too. Trying to get your credit cleaned up later is a PITA.

    The way I read this is that her husband was on his way back into the ride and the safety bar that keeps you from falling out fell on his head and knocked him to the ground, rendering him unconscious. That in my opinion is Disney’s fault.

    I agree with godlyfrog. Why would you ever let a patient submit a claim for $1600 to their insurance company? I would think that for $1600 you’d just pay the bill and make the mess disappear. However, there are thousands of people that go through Disney each year and I’m sure that they can’t just pay every little claim folks bring to them.

    And I have never had a desire to go to Disney anything. Am I the only one?

    • bwcbwc says:

      @baristabrawl: Especially since regardless of the liability for the injury, the OP (or her husband) is the “responsible party” for all of the medical charges. That’s why it went to collections.

      Pay the bill, get the insurance company to help you pursue your claim. They have an even larger claim against Disney, since they paid about 80% to the OP’s 20%, which is why there was an insurance lien in the first place. In fact, if it drags out like it ended up doing, you can lawyer up and get a lien of your own placed on them.

  30. Tonguetied says:

    It’s very clear that Disney through Mr. Garth Steever was doing it’s best to drag their feet and to not communicate with Jane and her husband. Regardless of who’s fault it was their behavior was sub par and shameful.

    Some of you commenters are just being jackasses…

  31. hermanfish says:

    The criticism over Disney’s response is unfair. The theme park pays to have Anaheim paramedics and police on site at all times. They even built a substation in the Downtown Disney area just to improve response times. In addition to this, Disney has RNs on site as well as its own fire department. Safety truly is important to them and they respond to any injury with lightning fast speed.

    It is a shame that the OP did not elaborate on why the injury occured. It could have been anything from defective footwear to intoxication. But I’d assume that if the fall was due to an oversight by Disney, the OP would have said so. People rarely miss an opportunity to lay blame if there was a crack in the sidewalk or something.

    I think that the OP misundertood the employees at the theme park who allegedly said Disney would pay for everything. Disney trains their employees not to make statements about liability. The only person who could have offered any guarantee of compensation was Mr. Steever or someone else from the guest claims department.

    The OP has a valid concern over the amount of time that it took to get the issue resolved. Though, I think it is likely typical considering that he was working with Disney’s legal department. As you might imagine, they get loads of false claims. It is part of their job to do their due dilligence and investigate each claim for authenticity. The fact that Garth’s manager, Bob Wiess, took the time to arrange a conference call shows me that they were trying to help. There was just a lot of red tape slowing them down.

    Again, I think the OP used poor judgement when sending this to Consumerist. The payment for their medical bills and the complimentary tickets are a settlement to a legal claim. Disney will likely seek recourse because they decided to disclose the information in such a public forum.

    • god_forbids says:

      @hermanfish: OMG you are so wishing for a disemvoweling. My eyes bled after reading your post, you shill.

      1. Your questioning of the reason for the fall is quite irrelevant. Common law protections exist (backed up by FL state law and probably federal law) which automatically assign liability for injuries to the property owner. For further information see your local law library.

      2. The internal positions and ‘training’ of your co-employees is also irrelevant. First, any employee can give the impression of being a legal agent whether that is part of their position or not. Whether that person’s statements hold up in court if for the lawyers to decide. In any case Disney was retarded to drag their feet on this.

      3. Again, this is BS. The OP directly confronted them about the delay and it was NOT DUE TO “red tape” but negligence (“I dropped the ball”). The strategy employed here was ignore, delay and deny – and it came back to bite them in the ass. Your throwaway excuse about false claims is BS too, as the investigation ended months ago.

      4. Disney devoted resources to the problem only when the wheel became to squeaky to ignore, precisely the reason they should not have taken so long in the first place! The payout in this case does not seem to be a settlement of a legal claim but compensation for a customer service issue.

      Stop spreading FUD.

      • sandwiches says:

        @god_forbids:
        Holy over-dramatic reactions, Batman!
        Now, stop spreading lies.

        1. Regardless of what you may think the owner of the property is NOT automatically assigned liability in the case of an injury by a visitor because in order to have a viable premises liability claim, you must be able to present compelling evidence that you were injured because of hazardous conditions on a premises and that the owner of the premises did not exercise a reasonable level of care to prevent the injury.

        2. Unless the OP’s statement can be corroborated, his word is meaningless when trying to claim that a Disney employee stated that Disney would take care of the bills.

        3. You’re using complete fabrications, conjectures, and straight up lies. You have no way of knowing why the delay occurred. Period. You have no way of knowing when the investigation ended, either. Period. So, again, stop spreading lies.

        4. More lies and conjectures and imaginary scenarios without an inkling of solid proof.

        Stop spreading lies.

    • Josh_G says:

      @hermanfish:
      The payment for their medical bills and the complimentary tickets are a settlement to a legal claim. Disney will likely seek recourse because they decided to disclose the information in such a public forum.

      I’m pretty sure the whole point in the post was that disney did not pay the bills or send any free tickets. So what recourse would Disney have when essentially the only thing they did was call the ambulance? None.

      Also, it didn’t sound like the OP actually had a legal claim, the closet thing to that was the insurance company filing a lien for payment. It doesn’t sound like the OP herself even filed any paperwork against Disney.

  32. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    If someone trips on my sidewalk, I am liable. Why should Di$ney be exempt?

    There certainly is a strange version of empathy prevalent lately. I would hope that those of you who deign to be so knowledgeable and ‘sympathetic’ are lucky enough to never face similar misfortune in your lives. Because when you do, karma’s a bitch.

    • MeOhMy says:

      @doctor_cos:

      If someone trips on my sidewalk, I am liable.

      You *could* be liable if you were in some way responsible or negligent (cracks, weeds, untreated ice, etc) but you aren’t automatically liable. Can you imagine the onslaught of lawsuits if plaintiffs were guaranteed a victory just because they tripped on someone else’s property?

      I’d never tie my shoes again, that’s for sure!

  33. ThinkerTDM says:

    Ugh. Sayonara, Consumerist. Most of the comments here are directly blaming the consumer. I thought the “commenter code” was put in place to provide a forum for discussion and resolution, not a roast of the poster.
    I agree with Kilgore Trout.

    • Ben Popken says:

      @Kilgore Trout: @ThinkerTDM: We don’t approve each comment before it goes up. Unlike the precogs in Minority Report, we can only set up guidelines and act when people misbehave. No matter how exhaustive our commenter code and zealously we enforce it, the internet is still going to be full of jerks who get off on seeing other people put down.

      • Krobar says:

        @Ben Popken: hey can you add a ‘this poster was banned for this comment’ or something to let those of us who are hoping for a positive return back to how things were to know that it’s happening? I haven’t seen any disemvowelings since the first couple days you guys announced it, but I’ve seen plenty of posts that probably should be disemvoweled.

        (ps. I’m not giving up cause I’ve seen much worse on many other forums.) :)

  34. Poster99 says:

    Am I the only one surprised at the cost of their co-pay.

    I mean having health insurance is great and all, but if it only covers 52% of the expenses, there’s still a lot of risk there. I wonder if in some cases they would be better off paying the “uninsured rate” or “cash” rate as these are often much less than what is originally billed to the health insurance company to which they then apply their network discounts, etc.

    Any have any experience with this?

    • floraposte says:

      @Poster99: That’s probably not technically a co-pay, it’s the amount exceeding what the insurance company terms “usual and customary” (I’m guessing, since it doesn’t sound like it was a charge that came back as not covered). And that’s where you can get really screwed. I’ve had thousands of dollars on a single procedure billed to me on those grounds.

      I suspect that health care facilities won’t let you just switch to paying the uninsured rate if you come in as an insured patient.

  35. drdom says:

    And now, back to our story…
    In this case liability of some type on Disney’s part is a foregone conclusion, just because it happened on their property. That may not sit well with some folks, but there is ample precident and case law in nearly every states tort law. Given that fact there are only 3 salient points:
    1: Was the OP in fact told that Disney would “foot the bill”
    2: If so, did the Disney employee who made the statement have the apparent authority to do so
    3: Was the OP’s reliance on those statements reasonable.

    Had the OP known that they were going to be financially responsible, they could have made a decision as to whether or not they felt it was necessary to seek such treatment and incur the resulting costs.

    Because of the fact that the OP opted to receive treatment, Disney also receives the benefit of having a timely evaluation and treatment. They can determine up front whether the injuries were in any way substantial. If litigation were to ensue, the injuries could not be overstated, and Disney would have been shown to be acting in the best interest of the OP, and would thus mitigate any potential damages.

    It’s also a quick and easy way of disposing of a potentially more expensive claim. But by their actions, they were almost begging to be sued. Their internal cost of investigating this potential claim may well have been in excess of the actual claim. And the time delay issues suggest they were acting in less than good faith, regardless of whatever reason they are claiming.

    If an injured party offers to settle, without an attorney, for just specials (the injured party’s actual out of pocket cost), most competent companies or their attorneys will quickly dispose of the matter before the OP has a chance to change their mind.

    Every story has two sides. In this case, no matter what those two sides might be, Disney would have been wise to take the route of disposing of this claim quickly and inexpensively.

    As a final point, the OP shouldn’t worry about their insurance company getting reimbursement. The insurance company has a subrogation department, whose job is to recover those costs. The OP shouldn’t try to collect disbursements for a third party, as it can get complicated, and may necessitate involving attorneys in a situation where their involvement at this level just complicates things.

    There is one attorney for every 211 people in this country. They all have bills to pay just like everyone else. Keeping them out, at any reasonable cost serves the best interest of Disney in this case. Properly dealing with the issue should not be the OP’s responsibility, and Disney should have a clearly defined policy, and perhaps a handout for customers who receive any substantive injury where Disney personnel render treatment while a guest of their facility.

  36. mariospants says:

    I’m surprised to see so much backlash against the comments… out of about 50 comments I only see about 7 that are “anti-OP”. The complaints smell a little troll-ish to me.

    Regardless of the fact that Disney is responsible (as property owner) and has a policy/process and discussed how they would take care of the OP’s hubby, I still would like to know what exactly happened. People are NOT allowed to go back on rides they’ve just debarked from. Is this some kind of exception ride? Was there absolutely no one else in line? Should hubby not have gone to the end of the line and wait to get back on the ride? Or did hubby actually go to line up and fell while in line/getting in line/getting back on the ride while in line?

    Note that this is NOT an anti-OP line of questionning, it’s just something that’s not fleshed out enough in the story.

  37. fonetek says:

    Was the nurse authorized to make such an offer to the victim at that time? The OP was offered something by a representative of Disney. The Disney machine is normally pretty good about customer service. Such a shame to see they dropped the ball this badly. With the exception of childrens Hanna Montana bikini briefs they rarely have bad PR.

  38. Tankueray says:

    Well, I used to work for Disney in Orlando, and every employee goes through training so that they don’t promise anything to guests unless they themselves can deliver it. If the nurses on scene are employed by the county, I can see how this will happen, “Oh, Disney always pays for everything.” But any responder actually employed by Disney would never say this, when it was revealed they would lose their job. Of course, in Orlando, they take you to a hospital in a town that they own, although I think the hospital is run by a church (Not the scientologists.)

  39. SugarSugar says:

    I’m not exactly sure where to post this comment, and I’m sorry that it’s off topic, but I don’t understand the people who are going to stop reading The Consumerist because they don’t like the comments. When I see a comment I don’t like, I stop reading the comment. Sometimes the whole thread. But I never stop checking the Consumerist, as it contains valuable and interesting information.