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The Yau Law Firm
Focused on Protecting Businesses and Representing the Injured

Tourist Suffers Eye Injury on Roller Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure


Recently, a tourist received a blinding injury at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.  Carlos Montaivo, of Puerto Rico, was riding the Dragon Challenge roller coaster when he was hit in the eye by an unidentified object.  Montaivo said that he previously only had sight in one eye.  Now he cannot see at all.

Universal made a statement that its staff “spent hours after the incident inspecting and reinspecting the ride…[and] found absolutely nothing that could have contributed to this incident.”

Following news of the injury, internet forums debated about what actually happened.  While some people thought the tourist’s injury was caused by an overzealous ride operator, others suspected it was due to a collision with low flying insects.

Montaivo reportedly hired an attorney.  If he proceeds with a lawsuit, he would likely rely on premises liability.  In Florida, property owners have an obligation or duty to protect people who enter their property.  The highest level of obligation is owed to customers, because the business derives an economica benefit from them.  To meet this high standard of care, a business has a duty to maintain the property in a safe condition, which involves regularly inspecting the property for safety hazards, and either making repairs or providing notice if any such hazards are found.  The business can be liable if its customer is injured by something the owner should have known about.

As a paying customer at Islands of Adventure,  Montaivo was owed the appropriate duty of care.  At this time, it’s unknown whether the object that hit him was a loose part from the ride, a bug from the sky, or something else.  If he files a lawsuit, he might allege that Universal failed to properly inspect the roller coaster.  This strategy would probably not prevail because the theme park likely conducts regular inspections.  Otherwise,  Montaivo may allege the theme park failed to warn riders of the hazard posed by flying insects.  This avenue may also be difficult.  Unless there is evidence of other rider-insect collisions in the past, Universal would have no way to know the danger existed.

If you become injured while on someone else’s property, you may be entitled compensation.  Contact a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case.

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