A Torrance couple injured when a roller coaster malfunctioned in 1982 have won a $151,000 judgment against Magic Mountain amusement park.
During a two-week trial, attorneys for the amusement park admitted liability for injuries to Alfred Hanson, 65, and his wife, Joan, 62, who were hurt while riding the Mountain Express on Oct. 17, 1982. Although liability was not at issue, the case went to trial so a jury could decide what the Hansons should receive for their injuries, said Judge Bruce J. Sottile.
According to testimony, the car the Hansons were riding in stopped near the crest of a high section of the ride when the roller coaster, which has since been removed from the park, malfunctioned. As employees attempted to repair the machine, the car began to slide back down the tracks before suddenly jerking forward and continuing upward.
Alfred Hanson, who had turned toward the back of his car to calm a friend behind him, suffered a ruptured disk during the car's snapping movement, requiring surgery to fuse vertebrae in his back, doctors testified. He continues to suffer constant pain from the injury, they said.