Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park Won't Help You If You Break Your Ankle On Their Rides

When Adam got stuck on one of Blizzard Beach’s tube rides, he injured his leg and had trouble getting out of the ride. He had to wait over 15 minutes for a wheelchair, and then the medical staff at the water park treated him more or less the way a school nurse would treat someone—with a brochure, some water, and some ibuprofen.

Here’s the letter he sent to Disney describing what happened on his visit last month:

My name is Adam Roca, and I recently visited Blizzard Beach Water Park on August 14, 2008. On one of the rides, I became ejected from my tube and stuck on the ride. In addition, one of my legs became awkwardly stuck underneath me. In attempts to free my leg and move down the slide, I applied pressure on my other leg to free myself. My ankle turned sideways and I fell down the remainder of the ride.

At the bottom of the slide, I called to my girlfriend for help. She told the lifeguard we needed help, and was ignored. Being a trained lifeguard herself, my girlfriend got into the pool to help me away from the slide. She pulled me to the stairs, where she again demanded help. The lifeguard said she was phoning someone. After several minutes, she said that someone would be coming with a wheelchair to assist us.

In the meantime, people kept coming down the slide and haphazardly running into my leg. More time passed, and the lifeguard said the wheelchair had been moved, so we had to wait longer for someone to come and help.

In total, I waited more than 15 minutes, writhing in pain at the bottom of this water slide. Once the person came with the wheelchair, I was assured that the nurse at the on-site medical center would be able to assist me.

At the center, the nurse simply asked if I was able to bear weight on my ankle. When I replied that I was not able to, she handed me a brochure and said I could go there to get X-rays. I told her that I didn’t have health insurance and this wasn’t an ideal solution. She said it was up to me, and that they couldn’t do anything else for me. I told her I was at least hoping for some ice and maybe some ibuprofen, and she complied.

We then drove straight to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, a place where we knew I would be treated regardless of insurance status. They took X-rays and informed me my ankle was broken. I was then referred to a orthopedic doctor and set up an appointment. Within the next business day or two (either 8/15 or 8/18 around 2 pm), I called Blizzard Beach and filed an injury report and issued a complaint against the staff at the park.

At the doctor’s appointment, Dr. Klein confirmed I had broken my fibula, and in addition, I tore my ligament on the other side of my ankle. He said that I would need to get surgery to heal properly so that I could walk again. I had surgery on 8/22/08 at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and I had a metal plate permanently screwed into my leg.

I have spoken to several lawyers since the accident. They seem fairly confident that at least a claim can be made to recuperate some of the money lost due to my ever-increasing medical expenses (at the moment, they total more than $13,000). Without medical insurance and living below the poverty level, I know this serious debt will mire my possibilities in the future.

I know Disney prides itself in providing entertainment for working families that’s safe and memorable. I would very much like Disney’s help in this time of need. I would particularly hope Disney would take responsibility for its loyal customers while they are on its very property.

Adam, we’re actually surprised Disney didn’t contact you to resolve this. If your letter doesn’t get a response, check out our post on how to write an Executive Email Carpet Bomb, and look here for Disney email addresses.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. mkt3000 says:

    Disney, the evil empire. I worked for them for so long, I can almost guarantee that an EECB will not work. Execs within the company are almost all taught to forward it to Guest Communications for the appropriate department.

    And don’t try small claims. They will send some from their army of attorneys with all sorts of evidence that puts you at fault.

    In short… Disney’s the only company I know of that’s impossible to beat.

    Good luck.

    • Dyscord says:

      @mkt3000: Yeah, Disney does have that reputaion, but can they REALLY claim that the OP is at fault here?

      • mkt3000 says:

        @Dyscord: I’d like for them not to, but I’m certain they will find some way to pass off the blame. They’re notorious for this.

        I remember when I was a passenger in a car accident on property in a company vehicle… we were hit from behind at a red light (ie- other car was at fault), and the witness statement had a line that stated something like “what could you have done to avoid this” and they would not accept “nothing” as our answer. We had to put something in there.

        I finally put “perhaps I should have taken a sick day and remained at home instead of being a passenger in a car that was hit.”

    • CRSpartan01 says:

      @mkt3000: There’s no such thing as a company that’s impossible to beat.

      • mkt3000 says:

        @CRSpartan01: There may not be, but Disney is so hard to beat, that it may well be an exercise in futility trying to do so. Like I said before… good luck. I want to see Disney beat.

  2. hills says:

    Get well soon – and this is a good reminder to all to have health insurance (easier said than done!)…..

  3. Dyscord says:

    Wow, that’s harsh. I’m not surprised at about the nurse though. I didn’t think they would be equipped to handle something like this unfortunately.

    This is just all kinds of fucked up though. Hopefully it works out, since it IS on Disney after all.

  4. wlbell says:

    So, I worked at Blizzard Beach and I currently work for WDW. There is some fishy stuff in this story. I am not blaming the victim. I saw many injuries while at Blizzard beach and the other parks I have worked at; any time someone is injured on Disney Property they are sent to the Celebration Hospital aka Florida Hospital. The Nurse at Blizzard would have told you this, instead you went to a hospital way out of the area. Maybe that is where you live but it’s pretty far away. If you had gone to Celebration you would have been able to work with Disney more closely to help cover your cost.

    Please not at each and every lifeguard station there is an E stop which notifies base there is a problem and it is recorded and a coordinator or manager is sent over.

    Believe me when I worked at this park there were many problems, but response time to someone injured that wasn’t life threatening could take at least 10 minutes. Depending on where you are in the park in relation to base. IT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST WATER PARKS IN THE US.

    I’m sure Disney is taking your response very seriously and will use it in any upcoming in-service training sessions.

  5. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Ummm… what is someone living below poverty doing spending all their meager earnings at Disney? Not that I’m blaming the OP! But, I would like more information.
    There should be a happy follow up to this. Disney does take pretty good care of people (usually). Just keep in mind that the nurses at Disney have very limited options that usually include OTC pain meds, ice, comfort measures, and calling an ambulance.

    • North of 49 says:

      @mrsultana: so nice of you to blame the victim for being poor. poverty is no disgrace, and I’m more than certain a trip to disney (whatever) would have been a once in a lifetime vacation. I know I’ve wanted to go since I was small and now that I have kids, they are bugging us to take them. I don’t think it’ll ever happen – Canada’s Wonderland for us. :P

      • mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

        @North of 49: I said it would be interesting to get more info. Definitely not blaming the OP. And did I mention the disgrace of poverty? So nice of you to not read my post.

      • katylostherart says:

        @North of 49: not even a matter of once in a life time. unless he went to disney 5-7 times this year, it didn’t cost him near as much as private healthcare for a year.

    • morganlh85 says:

      @mrsultana: For all you know he got the tickets for free. It has absolutely no bearing on what happened here.

    • madog says:

      Ah, theme-park employee apathy.

      @mrsultana: That is a pretty extreme assumption. If it were between taking care of your kids, family, going to school, making car payments in order to get to work, car insurance [which could possibly include some personal injury package], or anything else along those lines, personal health, for some, will fall very low in order of importance.

      • madog says:

        @madog: I read the article, read a commenter’s post about “below the poverty line”, did a search on the page, still didn’t find anything.

        Had to read through it a second time to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind after I read another commenter who posted about “below the poverty line”.

        So, that’s what my original post was referring to. Had no idea why people kept saying that.

        =P

  6. goodkitty says:

    The thing that makes me most sick about the situation isn’t Disney’s response, but that having a simple accident costs over $13,000. That’s like walking down the sidewalk one day, accidentally bumping into someone, and them suddenly saying “oh hah hah, congratulations, you just bought a new car!” Except you don’t get the car, just the bill.

    I don’t have health insurance either and I have to say, being financially devastated in seconds because of a simple accident like this is something that causes me significant worry. That’s more concerning than a couple line employees not taking their job seriously and making you wait 15 minutes in pain. The bill will be with you for years.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @goodkitty: Even with Health Insurance, $13,000 is ALOT OF MONEY. I severely dislike the cost of medical procedures in this country. Its ridiculous.

  7. The_IT_Crone says:

    That’s quite like what happened when I went to my local theme park. Only it wasn’t nearly so serious. Yowza.

    I was on an inner-tube ride, and when I got to the end my toe got stuck in the drain/grate as I was trying to exit. Someone on a tube hit me from behind. It was ~20 years ago and was just a broken toe and a sprain (I can’t even remember if it was my ankle or foot), but my toe is still messed up and hurts to walk on in bare feet or flat shoes.

    I was too young to fight it, but my family had no luck having them pay for it. It took a long time for a wheelchair because it took a long time to get it to that area of the park. But I think they were rushing- they wanted that screaming kid away from the people having fun ASAP!

    I hope Disney opens it’s wallet for you. Things like this shouldn’t be so hard to make right :(

  8. Rojma says:

    I agree with other posters in saying, if you are living below Poverty level, what are you doing going to Blizzard Beach (which is not cheap)? An entrance to Blizzard Beach last time I went was around $35, which is a pretty hefty price for someone “below the poverty level”. Add on top of that some very hefty food and locker prices and its not a place where someone poverty level is going.

    The whole story sounds very fishy to me. I’ve been on the Blizzard Beach tube rides and it would pretty hard to fall out of them unless you were horsing around or purposely trying to fall out of them.

    I also found it hard to believe that you were anywhere close to the slide exit for a supposed 15 minutes with others crashing into your leg. First off, I have personally seen Disney employees clear out guests who are anywhere near the slide exists for too long and second, from what happened afterward, it sounded that you were in a good enough condition to have moved yourself to a safer place. You were in water and could have easily moved yourself! I say this from experience because i have been injured in deep water (separated shoulder) and was able to move myself with little effort.

    I’ll come out and say that I see very little truth, a lot of exaggerated details, and a lot of missing details from this story.

    Next time maybe you should spend the money you spent going to Blizzard Beach on paying for some health insurance.

    • @Rojma: There always has to be at least one person to blame the OP.

      Care to read the rules of the comments there Rojma? I wonder if the editors track down your IP, if it would come from disney.com

    • morganlh85 says:

      @Rojma: Honestly. You wouldn’t have had a problem with Dell customer service if you had donated all your money to UNICEF instead of buying a laptop!

      Maybe your broken washing machine wouldn’t be a problem if you were a nudist!

      That dead snake in your spaghetti at Applebee’s could be avoided if you simply made your own food at home!

      We should all just sit in the corner of our bedrooms in fear, feeling bad about the money we spend and the choices we make, and companies can do whatever they want to us just because we choose to purchase items or services instead of stuffing every penny we earn into a bank account. Oh wait, the banks want to screw us over too. I guess we just have to DEAL WITH IT.

      Yeah, obviously that’s EXACTLY what the Consumerist website is ALL ABOUT.

    • J.Heck says:

      @Rojma: No, Rojma, the second that lifeguard at the bottom caught on that he was in any way injured, the “stop/go” lights at the top of the slide should have been set to “STOP” and that guard should have been IN the water with him helping him while blowing her whistle to signal lifeguard who are not in position. None of this half-assed bullshit. When it is done absolutely right, companies don’t get sued. Which is why if any managers at Cedar Point/Soak City see a guard so much as look away from the water they are guarding, they get written up for the first offense, and put on “trash duty”, and then the second offense is termination. Sometimes it’s just flat-out termination, depends on how the manager is feeling that day.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Rojma, @mrsultana: Wow. You both make me SO proud to be an American. Good job!

    • digitalgimpus says:

      @Rojma: Completely agree. Something doesn’t sound right here.

      “falling” out of the tubes is extremely difficult unless your doing something your not supposed to (like trying to stand up).

      As for what someone who defines themselves is doing at Disneyland, which is virtually unaffordable to many in middle class… that raises an even bigger question.

      Either the OP is extremely irresponsible and reckless… or this story has some missing components.

      If I had to guess, the OP is “below the poverty line” if they relied on their own income, rather than live at home. In that case, virtually all teenagers and college students are living in poverty. And in this case he doesn’t have insurance.

      That day at the water park could have paid for a month of health insurance.

      This just doesn’t add up.

    • mythago says:

      @2719: Yes, he should have saved up that $35 and bought health insurance with it. Wow. I get the impression a lot of commenters here have jobs where their health insurance is paid for, and therefore have NO CLUE how much it actually costs. Hope you folks never find out the hard way.

      I don’t know whether or not the OP is responsible for the accident, but he really shot himself in the foot (sorry) with his comments about ‘several lawyers’. You don’t see ‘several lawyers’ if you have a viable case; you only need to see one, or maybe two if you want a second opinion. He doesn’t say he HAS a lawyer. He also says that the opinion he got was ‘at least a claim can be made’ – well sure, you can always file a claim with Disney, but that is a far cry from an attorney saying “Your case is solid enough for me to represent you.” If I were a Disney lawyer, I’d be assuming that this guy got some bad news from potential attorneys about how likely he was to recover.

  9. I am going to be devil’s advocate here and say that: sometimes you when you slide down giant tubes filled with water – not something our bodies are designed for – and you multiply that by hundreds of thousand of people – no matter what Disney does people are going to get injured.

    You have to take some responsibility when you have fun on these rides. I just don’t hear anything negligent in Disney’s operation of the ride.

    As far as their response to his injury, it was plain shitty and unprofessional. But I don’t see Disney’s obligation here. If you tripped while walking down Mickey Avenue (or whatever) is that Disney’s fault? Did you really think that no one ever gets injured while riding down a giant plastic tube greased with water?

    I’m sorry but not everything can be billed to Disney when someone gets injured.

    • ShizaMinelli says:

      @twophrasebark: WTF? So it’s his fault for going on the ride in the first place. If you’re walking down Mickey Ave. and you trip it’s not immediately Disney’s fault, but what if there was a crack in the pavement that had been there for many weeks? The ride malfunctioned somehow, and it’s not the OPs fault for going on it in the first place.

  10. baristabrawl says:

    This is the second time that someone’s been injured there in as many weeks. I’ve never wanted to go to Disney, now I even don’t want to go more.

  11. Szin says:

    I like Typhoon Lagoon better. The Wave Pool kicks all kinds of ass.

  12. J.Heck says:

    What? I used to be a lifeguard for Cedar Point. We had a man break his arm on one of our slides and I was the lifeguard at the top of the ride. He was down around the first corner, closer to me than to the bottom, and as soon as I heard “HELP” you bet your ass I was on the phone to the lifeguard at the bottom of the slide, the water was shut off immediately, and I walked down the slide to him to keep him calm until the guards with a stretcher came (precautions, anyone with a bone injury automatically must be restrained and the limb immobilized). So on and so forth until he was safe and sound. The entire process took 15 minutes, even with the 15 flights of stairs the guards had to climb. The job of the lifeguard at the top is to make sure the riders get to the bottom safely, and the job of the guard at the bottom is to make sure the guest can get out of the pool. When there is ANY injury, mass-whistle-blowing starts and a half dozen lifeguards, including team leaders and managers, come running.

    If this would have happened on my watch at Cedar Point, and I did nothing, I would have been fired on the spot and sent home. Period. Something like that could have resulted in him drowning at the pool at the end if his girlfriend hadn’t been there. And here I thought that all water parks were held to such standards like mine was, since there is so much liability…

  13. ???/??? says:

    err… I’m not exactly blaming the OP but I have a few concerns. By entering the park, don’t you essentially assume the risk of a water park, much like you do when you ski?

    I’m also going to bet you that it was not 15 minutes to get a wheelchair. Since you’re in pain, the time may feel that long.

    I really can’t take that much pity on you for not having health insurance. That’s the risk you take for not buying health insurance, income level regardless.

    I fail to see how this is legitimately worth $13,000 of Disney’s money. Of course you’d get it to shut you up. But you went on a water park w/o health insurance. It’s a risk you assume by entering Blizzard Beach. There wasn’t negligence on the lifeguards part. You would have to prove that by making you wait caused a far greater extent of your injury.

  14. ???/??? says:

    @morgan

    The point is, if the OP felt compelled enough to mention that he is living below the poverty level and does not in fact have health insurance, maybe he should consider the risks he takes by going to an expensive theme park that has an inherent risk to it.

  15. MickeyMoo says:

    Don’t “enhanced risk” type venues like water parks, grand prix style racing, etc – have weasel word waivers posted and on the back of the tickets?

    • Meshuggina says:

      The OP needs to get a lawyer or contact some form of legal aid ASAP. In a lot of cases, personal injury lawyers lawyers will work on contingency basis (they get paid only if you get paid). If you can’t get anyone to take the case, I’d try legal aid or small claims court. There is a statute of limitation of things like this, so you gotta move fast.

      • coolkiwilivin says:

        @Meshuggina: And this is why our medical system is in shambles. Lawyers who are willing to sue anything to make money. When I was 22 I didn’t have insurance til I got a real job. Quite frankly I didn’t change my lifestyle much but then again I was 22. To tell this person not to do things like that is silly b/c a waterpark should be a high fun low risk experience. This person by all means should have gotten help but to expect full medical treatment there at disney is not appropriate. No one ever wants to ask what does personal responsibility means? You’re poor and you have no insurance. Sorry but so are a lot of other people, like my parents who immigrated to this country and did it all on their own. I’m sorry you had so much surgery and it cost a ton but now it’s your chance to take responsibility for yourself. Get a better job or go to school so you can get a better job. This is not your opportunity to get rich from lawyers, this your opportunity to learn self responsibility.

        • mythago says:

          @coolkiwilivin: No, our medical system is not a shambles because some people file lawsuits. Please stop getting your information about the medical crisis from insurance companies.

          • coolkiwilivin says:

            @mythago: You’re right, I get them from Doctors. Medical malpractice insurance has skyrocketed over the years. My wife used a Birth Center with Midwives a few years ago. They shut down after the birth of our son b/c their insurance was going so high that they couldn’t afford to stay in business. but you’re right it’s not just the lawsuits, it’s treating anyone who comes in whether they have insurance or not. Look at the border hospitals that are being overwhelmed by illegals who can run across the border in an ambulance and won’t be stopped and then deliver their kids without paying a dime. they won’t pay but you and I will. So you are correct, it’s not lawsuits but it’s a large portion of it.

  16. Before you make a comment on the site, read the comments code. This paragraph in particular:

    Avoid blaming the poster or victim or commenting only to be negative
    Please, suggest alternate courses of action, or add important information that might help others or that we missed. Don’t attack people. Assume good faith. Tipsters need help, not ridicule. Express contrary opinions, but treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t constantly spew negativity, be it about other posters, the site, the article, or anything. Commenting is a privilege, and can be removed at any time at our discretion.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    And Adam, if you’re reading this, please understand that the overwhelming majority of us are rooting for you to see the right thing get done and hoping for your quick recovery. Don’t let a couple – literally – poor specimens of humanity think otherwise.

    • RichNixon says:

      @Trai_Dep: The comments code says: “Don’t attack people. Assume good faith.” I hardly think calling other posters poor specimens of humanity is adhering to the commenting code for this website.

  18. Trickery says:

    Horrible picture text ever. Made no sense. STOP SUCKING GUYS!! :D

  19. PurplePuppy says:

    You know, the whole “should have had health insurance… it’s his own fault” argument would carry a lot more water with me if I had ever heard it uttered by a poor person.

    Unfortunately, this is not an argument you can win the “he had it commin'” types: if I told them that the majority of the poor don’t have health insurance, they’d just say “makes sense… they’re poor AND stupid.” If I mentioned that–at the current annual health care inflation rate of 18%–in a few years the poor would have to pay more for health insurance than housing, they’d just say “well then maybe they should work harder to not be poor… serves them right for being so lazy!” If I told them that even if they got a better job, fewer employers are offering insurance… well, you get the idea.

    Ahh… it must feel good to look down on the world from such unassailable heights.

    • rshettle says:

      @PurplePuppy:
      That’s the risk you take when you go without health insurance. I don’t care how much money you make (or don’t make), nobody said it was fair and because he chose to take a risk and go without insurance he’s now trying to pin his financial troubles on Disney. The sad part is that he will probably extort a fair amount of cash from Disney before this is over with…

  20. JFetch says:

    Ok, to clear up some things. Yes, there is an inherent risk any time you go to an amusement park and ride a ride. Assuming the ride itself is not at fault, which a quick once over by maintenance can show, the problem in this case is the lack of any type of policy when an accident like this happens.

    The fact that he wasn’t moved out of the exit of the ride, and it continued to be open to customers might injure him further when a person bumps into him. That’s where any type of lawsuit would happen(along with no maintenance person looking over the ride). The staff obviously wasn’t trained to deal with any type of medical situation.

    I hate to say it, but Disney will probably not give you any money without you getting a lawyer and starting a suit against them for negligence.

  21. loueloui says:

    I find this story rather unusual. While obviously, I was not there several things in this story make me suspicious.

    First, I have worked closely with, but not for , Reedy Creek Fire Department. These are the paramedics,EMTs, and fire fighters of Walt Disney World, and the surrounding area. They are, in my opinion, the most well equipped, and trained public safety agency in the state, and I have seen dozens if not hundreds. I have seen them respond to headaches, broken teeth, insect bites, and all manner of mundane items. A sprained, or broken ankle? No sweat. That, and the fact that one of their stations is literally down the street from Blizzard Beach make me think something’s up.

    Secondly, Sarasota is about 150 miles away from Orlando. If you were in severe pain, you could be seeen, or at the very least triaged, at any hospital, regardless of insurance. Florida Hospital Sand Lake is within 5 miles of Blizzard Beach.

    I’m not saying that the submitter is completely at fault. I am saying that this could have gone much differently.

    • DarrenO says:

      @loueloui: I agree with you, I smell something not right with this story as I do with a lot of stories here. There are obvious things in the story like saying his girlfriend helped him to the stairs and then says “In the meantime, people kept coming down the slide and haphazardly running into my leg.” Well, which is it? If you’re on the stairs then people aren’t coming down the slide and running into your leg, are they?

      I personally have experienced the great response time and care that the EMTs that work the Disney beat give. I can’t believe if this guy was really injured this badly that he’d have been allowed to walk away. It just doesn’t make sense.

  22. QquegChristian says:

    Most of us in Central Florida know someone that can get us into Disney for free. It’s what a lot of us can do for fun when money is tight… like right now.

    Insurance is a non-issue here. These rides should not exist unless Disney is willing to accept the liability. They would NEVER let you fall down a giant tube unharnessed in Epcot Center, but for some reason they go by a separate set of standards for their water parks… probably too much pressure from every other water park on the planet to push the envelope regardless of safety.

    Those that CAN afford and CAN get approved (You try getting it when your line of business doesn’t offer it and you have a severe case of asthma like me.) for insurance don’t deserve to see their premiums going up because people are breaking their legs on the newest, steepest water slide.

    Side note: I went to Blizzard Beach last year and came home with dozens of little bites up my entire body that did not go away for two weeks. I do nnot go to water parks anymore. I thought I had a staph infection or something awful.

    • Tallanvor says:

      @QquegChristian: Disney shouldn’t be expected to accept liability for any injury that happens.

      Every ride carries risk to the rider; risks that the rider accepts when he or she enters the park. Of course, the rider has to make the assumption that Disney is properly maintaining the rides. –If negligence can be shown in that respect, and a reasonable assumption can be made that it caused the injury, then by all means, go after them. But if a rider was doing something he or she shouldn’t have been doing, which is usually the case when people are injured, then it’s the rider’s fault, not Disney’s.

      We don’t really know how Adam managed to lose his tube and get stuck on the ride.

      Personally, I don’t care about his insurance or poverty status, beyond the fact that I think health insurance needs to be available to everyone and that we do need to work harder at eliminating poverty in our own country as opposed to wasting money in certain middle-east countries.

      And loueloui makes a good point… If you’re badly injured, you should be going to the closest hospitable regardless of whether or not you have insurance. Doing otherwise is obviously suspicious.

      • purplesun says:

        @Tallanvor: At this point (and from the beginning), it’s in Disney’s best interest to cover the guy’s injuries and take care of it quietly. The bad press will cost them more in the long run. They have insurance to cover situations like this and they should use it.

        As far as him being at he park in the first place – maybe he saved for a whole year to go to the park. Maybe he got free tickets. Maybe they were paid for by a friend in exchange for yard work. It doesn’t matter!

        The point is, he was injured in a Disney park and they should have handled it better. If they had, we might have a story on the consumerist stating, “I was injured at a Disney park and look at how awesome they came through for me! I feel safe and secure going there and bringing my children there! Kuddos to Disney!!”

        Instead, we have this.

        Furthermore, I would have hoped that any serious injury on a ride would warrant more of Disney’s attention. What if it’s related to a design flaw or if something is broken inside the ride? They just continued to let people go down?

        That’s pretty messed up.

        • Tallanvor says:

          @purplesun: If it was handled the way the poster described (I’m not saying it wasn’t, or calling him a liar), then yes, Disney could have handled things better. However, that still doesn’t make them liable.

          Also, Disney’s insurance may very well not cover every possible injury. I used to be involved with a yearly event, and our insurance was limited to liability insurance. –If it was our fault that the person was injured, it could cover it, but if something happened to a person because they were doing something they shouldn’t have been doing, and was outlined as being in breach of the event rules, then we were not liable, and our insurance wouldn’t cover the person’s injuries.

          I’m all for standing up to big corporations when they screw up, but so far, there’s nothing here that says the injury is Disney’s fault. –For example: maybe Adam tried to stand up for some reason while on the ride, but lost hold of the tube and fell due to the water rushing down the slide. In this example, if he had remained on the tube, which the rules probably stipulate that he do, the accident wouldn’t have happened in the first place, and Adam would have gone on enjoying the park. I’m not saying Adam did this, but I’ve seen similarly stupid stunts like that at water parks before.

          Besides, I don’t want to have to pay more to get into the park because Disney is paying for medical care when it wasn’t their fault. If it was their fault, then yes, I want them to take care of the injured person.

          And as I stated before, his status above or below the poverty line isn’t relevant to me. However he chooses to spend his money is up to him.

          Of course, it seems to me the bigger question we should be asking is why America is spending over $2 TRILLION on health care every year and still isn’t able to provide coverage for everyone, and we’re paying 50% more per capita than the nation with the next highest rate: Switzerland, who does provide healthcare to everyone in their country!

        • Hobz says:

          @purplesun:

          It would be better for Disney to pay off every guest that complains about an injury happening in one of their parks in lieu of the bad press?

          I think we can all see the implications there.

          I feel for the OP and hope that things work out for him. There are however more unscrupulous people out there that might take advantage of a situation like this.

  23. RodAox says:

    Whoever says instead of spending the money to go to Disney on health insurance is mentally retarded. I am pretty sure a decent coverage costs 200$-300$ depending on where you live and what you want covered. My cobra plan used to cost 450$ a month and now I am proudly uninsured… However the story might have a little bit of exaggeration to it… but Disney should have at least drove the poor guy to the hospital and at least paid for some of the bills…

  24. crystalattice says:

    However, to follow up (too hasty w/ the mouse), usually the legal wording on the park signs and ticket backs pretty much says the user is aware of the risks and, by getting on the ride, waives any liability of the park management.

    That may be legal boilerplate, but good faith from Disney should at least pay for the medical bills. Personally, if they don’t offer I would go to the press and have a story written about it. Not that Disney really cares about people (just search the ‘net) but no company likes bad publicity.

    I’m still trying to figure out how you can become that stuck on an inner tube ride; those pipes are big.

    • PurplePuppy says:

      : @crystalattice:
      : @QquegChristian:

      QquegChristian’s right, there’s “other ways” to have some fun and not be a totally depressed lump when you’re unemployed or under-employed.

      For instance, I got to tag along on a trip to Victoria, BC with a family a few years ago when I was working through collage. Besides generosity and trade-for-services, other ways you can get free fun stuff is through winning prizes… remember, between job interviews you’ve got a lot more time to fill when you’re unemployed; it might as well be spent filling out entry forms and calling radio shows.

      I think what really shows is that some people believe that if you’re unemployed or under-employed, you must be “bad” in some way, and therefor must suffer punishment, not reward.

      Geez, see a counselor already.

    • cashmerewhore says:

      @crystalattice:

      I believe Disney has their own hospital, since nobody is declared dead on park grounds.

      • amw5g says:

        @cashmerewhore:
        That’s a negatory, good buddy. An urban legend:
        [www.snopes.com]

      • mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

        @cashmerewhore:
        What most employees call “Disney Hospital” is actually a very souped up employee health clinic. They can treat breaks and other minor hospital-type injuries, but only for employees.
        What many people in Orlando call “Disney Hospital” is actually “Florida Hospital Celebration” (for the town outside of Disney). It is operated by the Florida Hospital System.
        No way Disney would take the liability of their own actual hospital! What if something went wrong? It is the same reason that with all that land they never opened their own airport.

        @tape:
        The nurse is not there to do an assessment in the way a hospital nurse is. They are the equivalent of a school nurse. Someone has a headache? Give them an aspirin. Fall down and get a boo-boo? Get a Goofy band-aid.

      • aka Cat says:

        @cashmerewhore: I think that’s standard practice everywhere — EMTs can’t declare someone dead, that can only be done once the body is examined by a doctor.

        I’m really surprised that the OP was treated so poorly by Disney employees. Not because Disney genuinely cares, but because they wouldn’t want to leave an opening for bad press or a lawsuit. I wonder if he hit a string of badly trained or apathetic employees?

        As for the OP earning below poverty level and enjoying a day at the park: it sounds as if he and the girlfriend live within a couple hours’ drive of WDW. A one day roadtrip to the park for two costs considerably less than a single month of health insurance.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @cashmerewhore: in either 1999 or 2000 [can't recall] that became untrue – a drug deal went bad at the house of blues at downtown disney, on disney property. they didn’t find the body for two days. so unlike previous circumstances where the emergency services [on property emergency services, but the hospital isn't, guests go either to celebration hospital or sand lake hospital] continued to resucitate until arrival at the hospital to be pronounced DOA, the mysterious circumstances and the federal agents meant that for the first time ever a coroner was allowed on property to declare the victim dead at the scene for the crime scene investigation.

        i was working the night they found the body at disneyquest, across from the house of blues, and our doors were blocked off in the front for the crime scene. part of my job that night was to direct people away so they wouldn’t see the meat wagon there to pick up the body.

        the only other one i know of was a disney hotel guest, elderly, who went out to his car in the middle of the night to sneak a cigar and had a heart attack. the next morning his wife reported him missing. by the time they found him it was waaaaaaay too late to resucitate.

        and in case you ever wonder why you don’t hear ‘lost people report to location x’ over the PA system…. if you ever do, watch the crowd. you can tell who works there but is visiting the park on their day off by the way they stop and look upset or shocked – they know that the only way a PA announcement like that will be made is if someone is dead or dying.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @catastrophegirl: err… ‘i was working at disneyquest, across from the house of blues, the night they found the body at the house of blues….’ sorry, can’t form a sentence before my second cup of coffee apparently

  25. ds143 says:

    what ride was it?

  26. tape says:

    Many people have mentioned the legal language on the back of the ticket that states that the ticket bearer is aware of the potential risks and excuses Disney of liability if they get injured on a ride or otherwise.

    That’s fine, but the ticket does not also excuse Disney from liability from their own negligence. A lifeguard (LIFEGUARD!) not assisting an injured person out of the water and merely stating that he’s called someone and they should be on their way while the injured person continues to be struck by oncoming riders and possibly injured further is EXTREMELY negligent. A nurse performing no actual examination of any sort and merely asking if you can bear weight on an ankle is also negligent.

    Certainly, there is the basis for a liability suit here based on negligence. And Disney would no doubt want to sweep that under the rug as quickly and silently as possible if it ever came up (it certainly couldn’t be good for their reputation for the public to believe that the health/injury response staff essentially does not respond to those injured in their parks).

    • abigsmurf says:

      @tape: There’smore to this than the OP is saying. I’ve never known a pool where a lifeguard wouldn’t get pretty angry at you for staying in the splash pool at the bottom of a slide. I’d guess he was at the far end, already pretty close to the steps where the lifeguard judged he wasn’t in danger and the lifeguard was busy reporting the incident, asking CCTV operators what happened and calling the nurse.

      He wasn’t struck by other riders coming down the slide. He was brushed by them as they carelessly ran past exiting the pool(he was already at the steps by that point.)

      The lifeguard probably wasn’t trained past basic first aid and resussitation techniques so once he was out of danger it’s probable his training states not to move someone injured (as it can make injuries worse and open up all sorts of lawsuits).

  27. cashmerewhore says:

    I don’t know what the situation is in Florida, but in Ohio state hospitals have aid (see write off) programs for people living within 200% of federal poverty guidelines. I know this could be a lawsuit, but try to work with the hospital as well since it could be years before your medical bills are paid by the responsible party.

  28. rshettle says:

    “Without medical insurance and living below the poverty level, I know this serious debt will mire my possibilities in the future.”

    *sigh*

  29. harlock_JDS says:

    I’m pretty sure Disney has disclaimers about personal risk on watersides and i don’t see anything negligent they did (the delay didn’t cause the leg to get broken or the ligament to get damaged) and i don’t think it’s reasonable to expect disney to provide full medical care for all it’s guests.

    As for the lack of insurance well i hate to blame the OP but that is the Op’s fault. he willingly went on a waterside (which has inherent risks) without medical insurance. That is no one’s fault other than the OP’s

  30. lynn4572 says:

    working at a hospital, i know for a fact that if he had insurnace that bill would have been way below 13,000. they jack up the price to the 100% of the total. for instance at a time in my life years ago I did not have health insurance, an er visit cost me 1000+, if i had insurance the bill would have been lowered to 248.75, and that is what is wrong with this country’s health plan.

  31. graceless says:

    I think I’m going to have to call, BULLSHIT! You see, that letter was very well written. Very few people who live below the poverty line, write so well. You have a car, you’re going to Disney, but you live BELOW the poverty line? but you didn’t call 911? Lost of people all around you, bumping into, yet you didn’t draw a crowd? Nobody called 911? I find it hard to believe.

    If I’m wrong, put your tale of woe on video, including names, dates everything, and circulate.

    If I’m right, tuck your tail between your legs, and quit bothering people.

    • kbrook says:

      @graceless: You’re really going for the gold with stereotyping. Many people living below the poverty line write very well. Some are even published. Many people who are currently poor are college educated and have hit a bad patch. Hell, Hubby and I are so far below the line, we can hardly see it! And yet, I can write and use grammar (mostly) correctly.

      And before you ask, my family is paying for our internet service in exchange for taking care of my grandmother part time.

    • Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

      @graceless: @rshettle: @abigsmurf: @crystalattice: People. Chris posted in this very thread to remind you of the rules, but you still continued. This is a warning – blaming the poster is against the rules – do not do this again.

      Comments towards the victim are to be constructive and helpful. We do not need to tear submitters to pieces.

      • abigsmurf says:

        @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz:

        Since when is saying what you think happened ‘blaming the op’? Sometimes there are reasonable explanations for things that happen happen. This is a consumer site but why should that mean we shouldn’t try to understand why events unfolded like they did?

        Am I blaming the op clarifying that the OP was at the stairs when people running out brushed up against him rather than at the bottom of the slide getting struck by people flying out of the slide? I’m not saying anything that wasn’t in the text, nor does this say it’s the OP’s fault. It’s clearing up confusion that’s occuring with people.

        Explaining why the lifeguard may have taken so long also isn’t blaming the OP.

        All I’ve said is there’s probably more to this than the op is saying, which is probably true. It’s important to have as full picture of events as possible to get a clear view of what went on.

        To me it seems that the rule “Don’t blame the OP” is being read as “assume the company is evil”. It’s often more than possible that the OP did the right thing (or did nothing wrong) and the company also did the same.

        An explanation or alternative view point can sometimes be far more helpful to people than “Wow, XYZ sucks, I’m going to go to ZYX in the future!”

        • rshettle says:

          @abigsmurf:
          Agree completely, and furthermore, the amount of money the OP makes (or doesn’t make) is really immaterial to his injury here. The OP’s argument would have just as much bearing if he were a millionair who chose to go without insurance. For that matter his lack of insurance has absolutely no bearing on his case against Disney nor was his financial situation the reason he was hurt. I sympathize with his predicament but his monetary situation is irrelevant in this case. If he truly has a case against Disney then he should take them to court.

      • rshettle says:

        @Consumerist-Moderator-Roz:
        Point taken and I would like to appologise for “attacking” the OP. This should, however, be a stark reminder for the rest of us about the risks of going uninsured. I wish the OP the best of luck in his case and hope he recovers quickly, it is an unfortunate incident.

    • sciencegeek says:

      @graceless: Most graduate students live below the poverty line.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @graceless: Wow. I’m almost speechless at your insistence that the message is written too well to come from someone in poverty. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  32. majortom1029 says:

    First off why where they at disney? Even for florida residents its still expensive.Also doesnt disney have warning at their parks telling you they arent responsible?

    Also how did he get dumped out of his tube? I honestly think there is something he is leaving out. Here at splish splash the only way to get dumped out of your tube is for you to be goofing off. I really dont see a lawsuit going anywhere.

  33. feline says:

    @abigsmurf: “The lifeguard probably wasn’t trained past basic first aid and resussitation techniques so once he was out of danger it’s probable his training states not to move someone injured (as it can make injuries worse and open up all sorts of lawsuits).”

    True. My husband trains lifeguards at Disney. They are taught shallow water and/or deep water rescue procedures, and they are trained that if there’s an accident, injury, or rescue, the first thing you do is radio a supervisor and get the victim to a location where they can be stabilized for additional assistance by EMTs/paramedics. And that kind of radio call brings people running from all over the place. Lifeguard coordinators, management, the works.

    I can believe that the OP was hurt at the water park. It’s fairly easy to do something less-than-advisable and get tossed around at any water park. But if the OP was that badly hurt, Reedy Creek fire/rescue would have been dispatched to help the OP. They’re good at what they do and handle stuff like that all the time. Driving 100+ miles to get an injury looked at by a medical professional is a choice, not a necessity, so I’m wondering what else we’re not hearing with this story.

  34. crescentia says:

    So, if you’re poor you can’t have fun. Instead you are supposed to just sit at home all day and stare at the tv. All of you people blaming the victim and saying crap about being poor are all destined to fail. Really.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @crescentia: so who’s fault is it that the OP has no insurance and decided to go down a water slide? Disney?

      I do agree that the attacks on them ‘being poor’ are out of line. We don’t know if another family member paid for the tix or got them for free somehow and honestly tix to just the water park aren’t that much.

  35. juniper says:

    Um, has anyone considered other ways that this fellow could have gained entry into the park? Native Floridians gets a steep discount. He could have won a ticket in a radio-station call-in. He could have been given a pass for his birthday. Let’s stop assuming things about the injured guy and start being surprised at how poorly Disney handled this, especially considering their reputation.

    I’m sure they have liability insurance for this kind of thing, and while it may not have been Disney’s fault that he fell out of his tube (though maybe it was! it could have been underinflated), the wait certainly caused him pain and suffering, and may have exacerbated the damage.

  36. arkitect75 says:

    I’m just wondering if the OP drove the approx. 120 miles (2 hours away) to Sarasota b/c he knew of that hospital would take him? I am NOT trying to blame the OP, I’m just wondering why he didn’t try to go to a local Orlando hospital.

    As far as him living below the poverty line, he could be a college student. In some states, once you reach a certain age, you’re no longer allowed to be a dependent on your parents insurance, so maybe this is the case.

  37. graceless says:

    I just don’t think it rings true. I figure (I’m guessing) a day pass, w/o refreshments $50 each person. I don’t mind him being without health insurance, if he’s young and without big deal disease or conditions, that’s a good way to go. But if $50 is a lot of money to you, it’s a lot of money to you. Plus, he brought his girl, that’s a hundred. Few people who write as well as he does, and are on their own are below the poverty line. Okay, maybe somebody snuck him in, fair enough, but nobody called 9-1-1? Not even his lifeguard girlfriend?

    Disney has been in business a long time. $13k is not much money to them. If this is true, and I don’t think it is, bad press is his best option. If he’s lying, he’ll screw himself.

  38. dottat1 says:

    You should try losing a kid at one of Disney’s parks!!!

    They absolutely will NOT help you as they “don’t want to disturb other park goers time”!!!

  39. Bakkster_Man says:

    As a former lifeguard, if he was injured the guard should have stopped the ride until he could be taken safely out of the way. As far as ride design goes, where was the OP waiting for the wheelchair that he was still getting hit by people coming down.

    While I don’t think Disney is at fault for the injury, the lifeguard needed to take control of a situation like this, stop the ride, and provide care as soon as he got to the bottom of the ride. Anything else is unacceptable.

    • Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

      @Bakkster_Man: Exactly. There is no way of knowing how much injury was caused by awkward sliding and how much was caused by people continuing to knock into his leg because Disney couldn’t do the simple thing of shutting down the attraction. Fine. Things happen. But Disney employees stood there and watched as the injury was mulitiplied and did nothing. Had they acted responsibly, this man might not now have a broken ankle.

  40. 8008ttams says:

    Being below the poverty line has nothing to do with this. Florida residents can get an ‘after 2:00′ pass to the water parks for $60/year, or a regular season pass (no time restraints) for $120.

    That being said, I’ve never seen a life guard allow someone to hang out around the pool below a water slide for any reason…even if you hit the water hard and come up barely breathing, the first thing you’ll hear is the lifeguard yelling to get out of the water.

  41. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Its extremely easy to live below the poverty line. According to Wikipedia, the poverty line for a family of one in the contiguous 48 states is just over $10,000.

    Assuming the OP works 40 hours a week at a $7 an hour job, he earns just over $14,000 before taxes. Assuming a basic tax deduction from his paycheck, its easy to see how he is at or below the poverty line. If he’s supporting more than himself, or making minimum wage, this is even more possible.

    Don’t fault the kid because he’s got no health insurance. Its fucking expensive! Mine’s $100 a month!

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: $100 a month? Is that a joke?

      Carrying your own private health insurance (ie not one subsidized/group-discounted by one’s employer) can easily cost $400 to $600 a month for a single person, more for a family.

      I’m hoping you mean $100 a month out of your paycheck as an employee contribution.

      • _catlike_ says:

        @Evil_Otto: There are individual plans for under $100 (for instance, Kaiser Permanente) if you accept a higher deductible and co-pays and you happen to be in your 20s. It’s not exactly my favorite model of health insurance, but I suppose it beats nothing.

        • katylostherart says:

          @_catlike_: that probably depends on state too. when i was looking for insurance i couldn’t find anything less than $300ish/mo at my income level. that was completely unaffordable but i didn’t qualify for medicaid either.

          • _catlike_ says:

            @katylostherart: True. The example I game insures the the West Coast and larger markets on the East Coast, so your options may be very limited depending on your location.

            • katylostherart says:

              @_catlike_: haha oh i’m completely nyc metro area east coast. i SHOULD have options. they just put a new plan into effect for the po’ folk in my state just as i got insurance from my employer. so now i can’t get that one but my employer insurance has a crappy deductible that i can’t afford. but i feel better knowing that now if i get cancer someone else is stuck with the bill.

        • crackers says:

          @_catlike_: Unfortunately, many of those low cost options aren’t available in every state (Kaiser, for example, is not available in Florida) and the low price doesn’t take into account pre-existing conditions which can either drive cost upwards or result in coverage being denied completely. Which is a crying shame.

          Regardless, there’s a huge discrepancy between spending $50 for a day of fun (IF the OP even paid and didn’t receive passes) and spending $1200 for a years worth of insurance, and I’m shocked that people insist on judging the OP’s priorities based on a presumed amount of money spent for a single day.

          • crackers says:

            @_catlike_: Just to clarify: I wasn’t implying that you were passing judgement on the OP! You were just providing helpful info about low-cost insurance plans…the second half of my comment was directed at others.

            • _catlike_ says:

              @CCS: Oh, I totally got that. I was just trying to be helpful. I’ve waged the individual health plan battle myself and looked in disgust at healthcare costs and the lack of available options for the uninsured. I ended up in the emergency room two weeks ago because I couldn’t stand up straight–I don’t want to know how much that would have cost sans insurance. I guess I’ll find out when I get my benefits statement. Yay.

              • crackers says:

                @_catlike_: Oh, good…I’m glad it didn’t sound like I was chastising you. Not my intention at all.

                Sorry to hear about your trip to the ER! Hope you’re feeling better. And yeah…the expense of an uninsured visit is absurd!

  42. SkokieGuy says:

    Hmm, below the poverty line so he obviously shouldn’t be able to create a well written letter, go to Disneyland, etc. – wow.

    Could the OP be in our MILITARY, defending our country? Could the OP be a STUDENT, struggling to survive, despite our insanely expensive university system? Perhaps he’s a COMMUNITY ORGANIZER and chooses to have lower income as he helps others?

    There are many people below the poverty line for a variety of reasons. There are millions of people who lack of health insurance, and not just among the poor.

    I’m appalled by the comments here.

    • cashmerewhore says:

      @SkokieGuy:

      If he was in the military, insurance for active duty personel is free. My mom did it for 20 years. Better than the health insurance I currently have working for a large hospital system. (But yes, our service men & women frequenly fall under the poverty guidelines, which is sad).

      I stand corrected about the “Nobody dies in Disney” comment.

      @2719:
      Nurses do more than tend to minor bumps & bruises. If he was given any sort of medication, even OTC, that is supposed to be handled by the nurse. Not a nurse aid, not a lifeguard. Passing medications is the responsibility of the nurse alone. Providing crutches could have been another possibility, atleast allowing him to ambulate without the assistance of another person (or two).

  43. RChris173 says:

    When I was at Typhoon Lagoon a few years ago, someone was injured inside the wave pool. It is a massive wave pool, so they shut the whole thing down causing everyone to get out and have someone with a gurney come help the guy. It attracted so much attention that I had to take a picture:

    [img525.imageshack.us]

  44. ZoeSchizzel says:

    There are two things that make me think Disney should at least be partially responsible. 1) The injury happened ON a ride (not just in the park) and 2) the injury was serious (not just a little scrape or sprain).

  45. 2719 says:

    So he can’t afford a health insurance of any kind, lives below poverty level but he can afford to go to a Disney ride?

    OK…I guess some people have messed up priorities.

    Anyway why people think Disney or any other company is responsible if you had an accident on their property? I can understand if there was a malfunction or some other problem that was not taken care of in a tamely manner. But accidents do happen, so watch your step. A nurse can’t provide proper help for a broken leg. She can help with minor things like bruises and cuts. Disney probably did not want to call for an ambulance because thy would be involved in this. This way it’s not their problem.

    Health care is a huge ripoff but nobody is doing anything about it.

    • Erwos says:

      @2719: Product liability. If the product caused injury in the normal course of its operation, there is at least reasonable cause to hold the maker/operator responsible. OTOH, Disney could defend themselves by claiming he misused the ride in some fashion, or that he wasn’t fit to use it for whatever reason. That’s for the lawyers to fight out.

      That said, yes, this guy has his priorities all screwed up.

  46. courtneywoah says:

    WOW! I can’t believe some of the comments on here! Just because the OP lives below the poverty level, which a lot of people do, doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to have some fun once in while. I mean why even comment on the fact that he spent money going there since its irrelevant to the story.

  47. bluj66 says:

    As someone who actually WAS a lifeguard at Blizzard Beach–I’m going to agree w/ Loueloui. I can’t see an Ellis certified lifeguard ignoring cries for help. They are trained to react to any and everything.
    Disney may be an evil empire, but when it comes to guest safety–they take things pretty seriously. As for waiting 15 minutes for a wheelchair–absurd. All Disney water parks, pools, etc. not only have lifeguards on duty, but coordinators who basically roam the area w/ radios waiting for a call from the base (which is who the guard would have phoned as soon as an emergency occurred). Additionally, Disney has their own EMS more or less on property for the purpose of being able to manage incidents such as this. Regardless of your insurance status, if an injury occurred on Disney property, they will most likely do pretty much anything to protect themselves–which includes taking care of medical expenses.

  48. cashmerewhore says:

    For anybody who cares, federal poverty guidelines for a single person in 2008 is $10,400/yr. Which breaks down to $5/hr if working 2080 hours per year (full time, 40 hours per week).

    Or $866.66 monthly.

  49. 7thton says:

    Disney did nothing wrong here. This sounds like a simple accident…nothing suggests that Disney was negligent.

    • SkokieGuy says:

      @7thton: Well, what about the part where the lifeguard simply called for assistance and did not stop the ride or assist the OP in any way to prevent subsequent riders from smashing into him?

      And based on the comments, Disney is also clearly negligent for not scrutinizing people’s tax returns and denying admission to anyone who is not at least middle class.

  50. erratapage says:

    I took my stepson to Disney when he was 19. He lives below the poverty level, but I still thought he should be able to experience a little fun in his difficult life. (Being developmentally disabled makes it hard for him to find and keep a job). He didn’t pay a dime for his trip.

    If I were to comment on the mechanism of injury, I can think of a few things that Disney did here that contributed to the OP’s damages. Besides the possibility that the design of the ride may have caused the injury, the fact that the lifeguard left him at the bottom of the slide without closing off the area probably worsened the fibula injury.

    I had a similar injury a couple years ago when a car ran into me. I learned that fibula injuries often involve both the ankle and the knee, and require immobolization of the entire leg before the risk to either knee or leg is controlled.

    I think that Disney’s response left much to be desired here. And even if the injury was partially the fault of the OP, he is entitled to at least partial compensation. So, rather than blaming the OP for his part in the injury (or making a moral judgment about how he should be spending his time), I’d rather see someone help him obtain some kind of satisfaction from Disney, so that if something happens next time I take my poverty-stricken step-son to see the rat, I’ll know what to do if he’s injured.

  51. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    after 7 years of working at Walt Disney World, i have to wonder how it took 15 minutes to get help. not saying it couldn’t have happened, just would be a VERY unusual circumstance.

    Disney has the Reedy Creek Fire and Emergency Department ON THE PROPERTY, less than 10 minutes from Blizzard Beach at all times. more than once i had to call them out for bumps, bruises and band aids. that’s right, band aids. i could hand out a band aid from the guest relations window, but if the park guest wanted any kind of medical attention, ambulance it was. no cost to them either. had always been worth it to provide emergency medical services as a sort of a ‘gag’ to keep people from opening their mouths about injuries.

    i HAVE been gone 4 years, so anything could have changed of course

  52. PinkBox says:

    I don’t understand what is so wrong about someone below the poverty line going to Disney for a day.

    I grew up in a poor family, and we’d go on those types of trips maybe once every one or two years. Just because a family is poor doesn’t mean they can’t save up the meager $120 or so it would take to let their family have a day of fun.

    If you live in poverty, you kind of need a break every now and then. That $120 isn’t going to make or break you.

  53. erratapage says:

    BTW… I recommend that people talk to more than one lawyer before retaining someone to handle an important problem in their life. I see too many people who signed up with the first lawyer they met and then needed me to clean up that mess.

    Here, I would expect the OP to meet with three-five attorneys to see whether one of them believed that a case could be made against Disney for the entire injury or just for the negligent response.

    • mythago says:

      @erratapage: While I agree with you that it’s a good idea not to talk to the first attorney you call out of the Yellow Pages, I don’t see that anyone needs to talk to “several” regarding a simple PI claim….and certainly they should not be telling the potential defendant “I have talked to several attorneys”. That says that you don’t HAVE an attorney, for starters.

  54. The Porkchop Express says:

    The dude drove over two hours to the hospital.

    Anyway, disney (as much as I hate them) doesn’t have the stuff to treat a broken or badly sprained ankle or to diagnos one.

    Also, he became ejected or ejected himself. I know how that goes since I was a kid (pretty much still a kid)

    I’m not blaming him although he may have been the main cause of the injury. I do agree that Disney should have acted a bit more quickly, but they can only treat so much at their nurse station.

  55. jwm1314 says:

    I think we can all agree that the lifeguards “yeah it’s coming” approach was bad. But I really don’t think we have the whole picture here yet. There’s something odd that someone below the poverty line will drive over 2 hours away to Sarasota (south of Tampa) to go to the doctor.

    I agree Disney should help out more in this situation AS DESCRIBED, but I have a feeling we’re getting one side of the story…

  56. npage148 says:

    Whoever said it was smart for a young adult to go without health insruance has no idea about health care. As you can see here, breaking your ankle is a 10k bill and thats a mild thing. What young adult has 10k to shell out.

  57. grumpymo says:

    Hmm…Say I was injured, on a daytrip a couple of hours from home. I’m uninsured and I don’t have much if any extra money.

    I could go to a local hospital and perhaps be admitted and stuck there with no local resources to help me out.

    Or since I’m not bleeding to death I can deal with the pain and ride home to a hospital I am familar with, or perhaps where I know I might be able to make arrangements with, and at least I’m home and won’t be trying to figure out how to get home from several hours away.

    • futurelibrariansuperhero says:

      @grumpymo:
      Exactly! I grew up under the poverty line, and without insurance. Now I have insurance, but insurance doesn’t cover everything, and every time I have to get medical help I’m nervous that I’m going to the wrong clinic or hospital and my claim will be denied. I totally understand why the OP would go to a hospital where he knew how he would be treated.

  58. madfrog says:

    all I have to say is “It’s a small world after all”.

  59. picardia says:

    I’m really surprised Disney didn’t pony up for this. Although some assumption of risk is no doubt called for at Blizzard Beach, this sounds like a pretty severe injury, and whatever else you can say about The Mouse, they usually cover their asses liability-wise and take care of problems at their parks.

    As for the whole entry fee thing, maybe the guy’s girlfriend paid. Maybe a parent or friend gave him the ticket as a gift. $35 is really not huge, indulgence-wise, for anybody who is not actually on the verge of starvation. Absolutely every single human being on earth ever could do something ‘better’ with their money than go to Blizzard Beach, including zillionaires. And questioning why he was there doesn’t have a thing to do with the fundamental issue — i.e., Disney, for once, appears not to have taken care of a park injury.

  60. morganlh85 says:

    All this poverty nonsense…did anyone ever consider that maybe the guy is a student? As a student I make maybe $4000 a year…definitely WAY below the poverty line. But enough for me to get by while I’m school when combined with financial aid and some help from my mother. My mom helps me out but also doesn’t have 13k for a hospital bill.

    Do I have health insurance? NO. I can’t afford it. Do I go out and have fun? Of course. I’m not going to sit in my house all day and sign over all my paychecks to some insurance company (the same goes for MILLIONS of other Americans, in case you didn’t notice).

    ENOUGH already people.

  61. MrEvil says:

    From sounds of the story, the OP aparrently entered the slide awkwardly and when trying to correct he ended up getting wedged in or injuring his foot. I’ve never had a broken ankle and torn ligaments, but I can imagine the pain is enough to make your memories a little fuzzy. I wish him the best of luck and hope he somehow gets a fair break. If he does live below poverty line most hospitals do have some non-profit assistance programs. They generally have miles of red tape, but nothing in life is ever easy in attaining.

    As for all the “Shoulda had health insurance” comments. I am both amazed and apalled by the sheer number of people that come to this site that have their heads lodged in their posteriors. It appears as though most of them live in some fucked up microcosm where independent health insurance is good for more than releiving you of a couple hundred bucks a month.

    What kind of country do we live in where a GROCERY BAGGER has better health insurance than a computer technician? It’s the truth, my first job was bagging groceries and as a dues paying Union member my health insurance was 100% paid for by the company. The insurance was top notch too, never denied a claim and pre-existing conditions were only pre-existing for 60 days. Hell, if the store hadn’t closed its doors I’d probably still work weekends there running a cash register or hucking milk into the cooler just for the insurance.

    • rshettle says:

      @MrEvil: In the grand scheme of things, his lack of insurance has absolutely NO bearing on his case (or lack thereof) against Disney. Being uninsured and poor is just an unfortunate happenstance here.

      • MrEvil says:

        @rshettle: yeah I agree that has no bearing on a PI case against Disney, I just hope the guy doesn’t end up filing Bankruptcy like so many folks do because shit happens.

  62. darkryd says:

    How is Disney liable in a suit? Their neglect to help you after the injury doesn’t change the fact that you broke you ankle when you went down the slide.

    I agree that their staff did an absolutely terrible job in aiding you when injured and at the very least should formally apologize and perhaps offer a refund to the park, but you should be aware of possible risks of injury when barreling down a water slide.

    ..and of course a lawyer is going to tell you a claim is possible. They want to make a quick buck when Disney settles out of court.

  63. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I can’t figure out what the OP’s pay has to do with anything. In fact, I can’t figure how whether his injury was his fault has to do with anything.

    Since when does medical staff refuse to help because of how the injury occurred? Since when do life guards ignore uninsured people (as if they can tell by looking)? They don’t. So why is it even being discussed?

    The OP’s girlfriend had to get him out of the water and that the OP had to prompt the nurse for a bag of ice and ibuprofen. That should not be the case when someone is injured.

  64. Quilt says:

    Yikes.

  65. hypoxia says:

    You go without health insurance you *know* you’re taking your chances and you know that one accident could financially devastate you. I have no pity for those without health insurance. And yes, I was without health insurance for a long time myself, and I also used to sell health insurance, so I know what’s available and what it costs.

    • lalaland13 says:

      @hypoxia: I think the “I used to sell health insurance” is the key phrase there. I was without health insurance for six months after college (three months to get a job, three months for the new job to start covering me). Look, I knew I was taking my chances. But it’s not like I could go, “Hey, this is a major financial risk to me and my health! Where’s that $400 a month for insurance? Ohh, I must have hidden it underneath the couch cushions!” I just kept looking and crossed my fingers in the meantime. Have a little compassion.

      And insurance companies aren’t exactly eager to cover you either, so this guy would still probably have a shitload of medical bills regardless. Regardless of if he’s exaggerating or not, I would guess Disney owes him at least something. I’m not sure what, but something.

      What next? Are we going to start blaming him for having legs? Because people with legs obviously shouldn’t go to water parks. It’s irresponsible!

  66. glennski says:

    OP is at fault for not drinking enough milk, and having weak bones. Comments are getting ridiculous round here.

  67. Hogan1 says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s a disclaimer at the park that they are not responsible for any injuries and associated medical costs and if you enter the park you agree to that.

    If you take legal action Disney would probably point to that.

  68. ThickSkinned says:

    Doesn’t negligence have to be proven on Disney’s part? The lifeguard was less than helpful, but that hardly makes it Disney’s fault the OP fell out and got his leg twisted. If the OP was injured by a faultily designed ride, then Disney should pay. This sounds more like a no fault accident. It sucks that he has no insurance, but I don’t see why Disney should be expected to pay for the doctor bills.

  69. Caveat says:

    Until and unless we get to socialized medicine, people like this should not engaged in high risk activity without medical coverage. So this guy has money to spend at the park but no money to buy insurance? At the very least he could have bought trip accident insurance for a few bucks. People like this are highly irresponsible and it should be we, the people, suing him to pay up his hospital bill. As far as Disney is concerned, I am sure their corporate lawyers have a disclaimer on the ticket basically saying that participation in the park activities is at your own risk and you are responsible for your own damage. They would only be liable if it could be proven that the client was a victim of negligence. Since there was no imminent danger of drowning in the pool, a wait of 15 minutes to get him help to get out seems reasonable. The nurse provided him the correct advice to get X-rays. She did not specify where and basically this complainer refused. Personally I think there should be laws that people without insurance (be it automobile, medical, home, or whatever) should not be allowed to sue. They want their rights upheld while not living up to their responsibilites.

    • mythago says:

      @Caveat: Unless and until we get socialized medicine, companies that open high-risk enterprises (like amusement parks) to the general public will have to deal with people getting injured and needing the resulting medical care paid for.

      • lalaland13 says:

        @Caveat: You’re right. Anyone without health insurance shouldn’t engage in behaviors like walking, running, biking, going up or down stairs, swimming, singing, dancing or, most importantly, showering without a proper bath mat. Bastards, all of them.

      • rshettle says:

        @mythago: whether or not we ever get socialized healthcare (personally I’m against it) really has no bearing on how liable these “high-risk enterprises” are. If that was the case any of these enterprises could save tons by not maintaining their equipment and pawn off all the injurys that occur due to neglegence to the healthcare system. Financially speaking (other than getting a well deserved bad reputation) it could make financial sense for the companies to save a few bucks here…

    • Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

      @Caveat: This is a warning. We’ve posted several times in this thread. STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM. I don’t know how else I can say this.

      Continue and risk revocation of your comment privileges.

    • morganlh85 says:

      @Caveat: You have really got to be kidding, right?

    • morganlh85 says:

      @Caveat: And last I checked, the $40 or $50 he probably paid to get into the amusement park wouldn’t anywhere NEAR cover even one month’s health insurance. Ridiculous.

  70. Geekybiker says:

    Wow. how does a broken ankle = $13000. That’s an xray and a cast. I’ve had surgury with time in a hospital bed and a CAT scan that cost less.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Geekybiker: I don’t know but the OP said “ever-increasing medical expenses” so I guess there’s been additional medical bills after the first hospital visit.

  71. OldHack says:

    Hey, moderators — clean this thing up. now it’s an ugly debate about whether poor people are allowed to have fun and the intricacies of Florida discounts at Disney.

    If the post is accurate, Disney performed poorly and I am shocked, given the level of service I’ve seen on many, many visits to the park. I doubt they would r refuse to call an ambulance if that’s what the guy wanted.

    So, Disney handled it poorly, but they didn’t cause the injury or seem to have worsened it. They certainly don’t need to pick up that tab just because they were slow to respond.

    Bottom line: OP is in financial trouble and thinks Disney should feel guilty enough to bail him out. This smacks of an attitude of entitlement that some Disney guests seem to develop because of the high level of service Disney promises (and usually provides). I’ve seen people become horribly demanding and beligerent at the parks because they think they deserve to have Disney make everything perfect for them.

  72. Ninjanice says:

    I haven’t been to this particular waterpark, but at all the ones I’ve been to, they have a sign posted outside basically saying “play here at your own risk”. Do they have any sort of posting like that at this water park? If not, I don’t think they can put liabilty on the OP because they did not disclose the risk involved with the rides. If there was a sign there, he shouldn’t have gone into the park because he would have known what the risk was and that he may be injured and that Disney would not cover anything. Another thing I just thought of is that Disney should have insurance to cover this type of incident and the bad press would likely cost more than any deductible would. It just doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint to not help this guy in some way. Would the OP be willing to to turn this into good press for Disney if they pony up and pay his bills?
    And, please, people get health insurance. I know everyone’s situation is different, but I know form experience that if you cut out the right things, you can live under the poverty line and have health insurance. I used to make very little money and had to pay for insurance myself- the company I worked for didn’t contribute anything to our healthcare. It sucked- I couldn’t afford to go out with friends, I had to budget everything, plan every meal, etc. I know how expensive healthcare is, but I also know how expensive it is to not have it. Now, I didn’t have any kids or debt (unless you want to count my mortgage) so this may have been easier for me than other people, but you cut out all the unnecessary things from your life. Things like cable TV, internet service, cigarettes, eating out, lotto tickets, unscheduled trips to the grocery store, etc. I’m sure that some people already live that way and still can’t afford healthcare, that’s why we have wellfare. I also know that there are plenty of people that act like they can’t afford healthcare, when if they only spent money on necessary items, they could afford it easily.

    • MrEvil says:

      @blah,blah,blah: I’m on the verge of going on the Ramen and water diet if I cut back anymore. Unfortunately my job has me paying quite a few things out of pocket (I’m an independent contractor so no benefits, no FLSA protections, and no company car.) After I pay for my internet (call dispatching), cell phone (for more dispatching and calling customers), Fax line (for completed work orders), gasoline and vehicle maintainance, auto insurance, extra insurance on my work vehicle to cover full cost of a replacement in case of total loss as well as lost profits, and general liability insurance all I have left over for is health insurance with a $6000 annual deductible. I’ve never spent $6000 a year on healthcare so far in my life. Basically I’m just paying an insurance company to do what I can do for free myself by lighting $100 bills on fire.

      Getting a new job is on the table as one of my options, but unfortunately nobody will hire me. I guess they think I’ll somehow buck authority or just up and quit if I don’t get my way. My dad’s had the same problem his entire working life as well. Being self-employed basically ruins your chances at getting a regular job.

  73. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I had a minor accident on Splash Mountain last year. Just a cut toe (from a metal lip inside the log) but the paramedics were there within 10 minutes.

    Forgetting about the emotional aspect and Disney’s delayed reaction – even if Disney had been more attentive and prompt the main question remains – is Disney responsible for the medical expenses of injured guests on water slides. Apparently “several lawyers” aren’t confident enough to take on the case.

    I wish Adam all the best in recovering from this accident and in recovering some or all of his costs. I believe Florida’s small claims limit is $5000.

    Oh yea, let’s remind Disney to keep the local riff-raff out so that jet-setting, matching luggage, northerners can have fun in peace.

  74. hallam says:

    I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice.

    Seems to me that if the claim that Disney did not close the slide after the plaintif became stuck, they are liable for the additional injuries resulting from other customers comming down the slide.

    That strikes me as being a clear case of negligence as does the failure to promptly call competent medical attention to the scene.

    I would bet that the Disney regulations require a ride to be closed immediately if there is an injured guest trapped on any part of it.

    I would certainly not go to small claims. I would go to a real lawyer. Disney settles cases, just like every other big company. Much as they might wish to give the impression that they do not the law applies to them as well.

    I don’t think you are going to see a multi-million dollar settlement, but they would be fools to fight all the way to trial if they can settle for medical expenses plus legal fees. They are not fools.

  75. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Even visitors with health insurance could be facing huge out of pocket expenses – a $1,000-$5,000 annual deductible and/or 10-50% co-pays.

    The only real question here is whether the injury was an accident or a result of negligence.

  76. Shadowman615 says:

    Why do so many people think that someone living below the poverty line shouldn’t ever be able to go to Dinsey World? Are you saying it’s not OK for someone poor to put aside money for maybe a few years in order to take a fun vacation at the end? They just have to sit around and be poor all the time and never spend for anything that you think should be beyond their means?

  77. crystalattice says:

    Nt t b n ss, bt f y’r lvng blw th pvrty ln, why r y gng t Dsny?

    Tht’s lk fmly knw wh r lwys skng frnds nd fmly fr mny bcs thy cn’t ffrd t by fd. Bt whn thy gt th mny, th g t KFC r McDnlds rthr thn gng grcry shppng.

  78. Shark1998 says:

    You live below the poverty level and you still have $40.00+ dollars to dish out for a water park? Talk about a lack of priorities!

  79. Every “big” place that I have visited (Casinos, Theme Parks, Ball Parks, Zoos etc) has had an emergency action plan in place. Entry level employees are taught their roles (notify supervisor, isolate victim etc) and appropriate personnel are in place to handle specific events.

    Take the classic Bat or Ball entering the stands. Ushers immediately enter area, followed by security and emergency medical staff. Never going to have a neurosurgeon doing a proceedure in the field, but the level of response is quite good.

    I have seen slips and falls at Theme Parks. Same kind of response.

    Sounds like Disney failed to follow their action plan OR the OP is embellishing the event. I would like to see/read more.

  80. itmustbeken says:

    Wow..this one I have a bit of trouble believing, but you never know.

    My wife worked in Risk Management for the Gap and had an opportunity to speak with Disney execs at a meeting. They have plans in place for e v e r y t h i n g.
    I would assume their water park would be covered like nobodies business.

  81. __Ken__ says:

    I feel for you Adam. Good luck with your case! Since hundreds of thousands of people have been to the park without injury you may have a tough time proving that it wasn’t your fault. Unfortunately I disagree with this but I do realize that that’s how the court system works sometimes.

  82. megafly2 says:

    This is clearly an argument for Nationalized health care.

    • coolkiwilivin says:

      @megafly2: Yes, lets have nationalized health care so that everyone’s level of care except for Congress and the uberrich is brought down several notches. Nationalized healthcare would only work if those in Congress and the Uberrich had to use the exact same system and everyone else which we know would never happen.

  83. Hogan1 says:

    Unless you can somehow prove the ride is defective outside the boundaries of reason there’s not a chance this would hold up in court. Accidents happen. You simply can’t prevent all accidents.

    Someone earlier mentioned that Disney would be liable for not closing the ride after the OP got stuck. How can they stop people already on their way down or before it’s reported? This wouldn’t hold up in court either.

    Bets way is to go through Disney but I doubt they’ll do anything unless they get enough bad PR. Going to a waterpark or amusement park and partaking in activities constitutes knowingly taking a calculated risk. People need to accept that.

  84. jaubele1 says:

    My family and I were at Blizzard beach less than a week before the OP’s accident, and all I can add is that the staff at the park was the least professional or helpful (to the point of being amateurish) of any Disney enterprise we have ever visited.

    In other words, why am I surprised this gentleman had problems?

  85. Dyscord says:

    Wow…this is pathetic. I can’t believe some of the people going on about the op being below poverty level. As if poor people shouldn’t even DREAM of going to Disney. What is wrong with you guys?

    Besides, HOW he got into the park isn’t really relevant now is it?

  86. Mattlar says:

    I used to work security at the Disneyland Resort (that’s California, not Florida) and it’s standard operating procedure there for a security cast member and a nurse to report to any accident scene and determine whether the call merits emergency services. I’m not sure how they operate in Florida, but I’m guessing it’s similar. In this case, a nurse and a security cast member should’ve been on scene, deciding whether to call dispatch for an ambulance.

    However, once you’re in that ambulance, you’re on your own. And trust me, ambulance rides cost $$$$. When I worked for Disney, nurses on property didn’t take X-rays or hand out prescription medication. They are there to determine whether outside medical intervention is necessary.

    I’m not sure the cast members here dropped the ball. They could’ve been more timely in getting the guest assistance, and if the injury was serious enough they would’ve called an ambulance. However, the nurse may have asked this guy if he wanted an ambulance and he could’ve easily turned it down for cost reasons.

    In this case, I’d file a complaint with “City Hall.” If there’s one thing Disney takes seriously, it’s guest complaints against cast members. But again, that’s how it works in California.

  87. North of 49 says:

    The poverty line in most of Canada for a family of 4 is at least $32,000.00. We are a family of 5, not 4. One of the things we love to do every year is go to the exibition. We save up for months, but this year, we failed at having the funds to go. We moved, and that ate into our savings. Even working full time, we’re still under the poverty line.

    But, guess what?

    Mr. No49 is taking us tomorrow to the rides and events two weeks after the exibition because his company is having their annual picnic and have chosen that site as their picnic. I do hope no one is daring to say we shouldn’t go because we are under the poverty line, even with the free ticket for him, and discounted tickets and more for us.

    After all, he has worked hard at his job to enable us to go to this picnic.

    the only difference? It isn’t disneyland. That would be a once in a lifetime for us.

  88. failurate says:

    I am guessing the tickets are like MLB tickets. By attending the game you waive your rights to sue if you get injured (hit by a ball or bat and so on).

    This post is just another example of how our health system sucks. The OP could be spending his money on health insurance, that would be great, but after his $200 a month premium, he would probably still be stuck with at least $5,000, deductibles and what not and, from his $13,000 bill, if he wasn’t stuck with the whole bill. They might deny the claims stating that Disney is liable, but they won’t pay your legal fees to prove it, leaving you responsible for the full bill.

  89. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    If plaintiffs didn’t have to show negligence you would quickly have a line of people hobbling into Blizzard Beach.

  90. sonneillon says:

    When I broke my ankle at school I never got ibuprofen and water, the school nurse said it’s probably a sprain walk it off.

  91. Tsubasa says:

    If we’re going to have rules for commenting, I think we should have rules for posting.

    And one of those rules should be that unless your economic situation has some actual bearing on the story, it should not be mentioned. Let the case be judged on its merits. It’s impossible to debate this episode without having a flame war about whether the guy was really poor, what impoverished people deserve, and national health care policy. It’s all irrelevant to the consumerist aspects of this case.

  92. redkamel says:

    I am surprised they didnt even splint it. Splints are effective, cheap, and easy to use onsite care…how can you not even have splints (or even an emt, which would be even better) at a multimillion dollar waterpark? I mean, an EMT gets paid like 10 bucks an hr where I am from.

  93. Brunette Bookworm says:

    I think Disney should be nice and help out this person. Also, if they don’t have insurance and live below the poverty level, would the OP qualify for Medicaid? I would encourage them to check into it, perhaps contact other social services to try and find ways to get lower cost health care. Insurance is an expensive thing and many people do without it but if there is a way to obtain it, someone should. Cases like this can be a lesson to others that insurance is a sad necessity due to the high costs of medical treatment.

  94. blackmage439 says:

    “Without medical insurance and living below the poverty level…”

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m sorry for this guy’s suffering, but seriously, NO ONE IN THIS SITUATION HAS ANY BUSINESS SPENDING THEIR FRUGAL PAYCHECK AT DISNEY! It’s a simple matter of needs and wants. You NEED health insurance; you DON’T need to visit Disney.

  95. RaphaelaCbazon says:

    First off, I would like to thank the Consumerist for posting my message. I actually didn’t even know it was here. 16,000 reads? That is truly incredible. I’m forever grateful that they helped me get the word out, and even sparked a bit of a debate about nationalized health care and the like.

    Second off, thanks to everyone for their support. Regardless of your politics and your feelings towards me or my decision-making, its always good to hear from people that care.

    Just wanted to give a bit of an update. After sending the letter, I was contacted by a Disney rep. However, I grew pretty suspicious with her b/c one of the first things she said was that she needed to ask me some questions and she was going to audio record the conversation.
    Around the same time, I settled on an Orlando law firm that deals specifically with cases like this that is working on a contingency basis. They have been more than helpful. Right now, we have to wait for all the medical bills to roll in before anything official can be done.

    As irrelevant as it is (like many have pointed out), let me explain a little more about my income level, reasons for being at the park, etc. The visit to the park was a gift to my girlfriend for her birthday. I didn’t really consider the increased risk I took by going on the trip. And by ‘going on the trip’, I’m mostly talking about the leaving my house, getting into a car and driving aspect, which probably results in about 1,000,000x more injuries and deaths than water slides.

    The sadly ironic thing is that my health insurance kicked in approximately 11 days after the accident. My initial hesitation of going to the hospital had to do with the fact that I had very little money at the time. It wasn’t until I talked to several friends on the phone who have had previous ankle injuries that I grew particularly concerned with it. Had I known that this would result in costly surgery, I would have likely just waited til the insurance kicked in (although its ambiguous if this would have even been an effective strategy b/c any doctor I saw would have been able to tell that the injury occurred two weeks prior and therefore was a ‘previously existing injury’ in the eyes of the insurance company)

    Since many people seem interested, I am employed through the Americorps VISTA program, which focuses on anti-poverty initiatives all throughout the country. The job pretty much revolves around community service initiatives. Despite being a poorly-paid form of employment ($800/month after taxes), I find it extremely awarding. Hah, I also now have insurance!

    Finally, my healing seems to be going pretty well. Its been 6 weeks since my surgery, and I see my doctor tommorrow to hopefully have my cast removed. After that, its 4-6 weeks with a boot and then some physical therapy. He said I should be able to walk again in a couple of months, although he did caution that many people aren’t able to walk normally for up to 6 months after such a surgery.

    I will send another update in a few months about my status.
    Thanks again for everyone’s support.

    God bless.

    -Adam Roca