A woman has sued Disney, claiming that a trip down a waterslide at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon four years ago caused an “injurious wedgie” that left her with severe gynecological trauma.
In a lawsuit filed last week in Orange County Circuit Court, Emma and Edward McGuinness said they were seeking at least $50,000 in damages from Walt Disney World stemming from what happened on the Humunga Kowabunga slide in October 2019.
The lawsuit, filed by attorney Alan Wagner of Tampa, claims that Emma McGuinness suffered the injuries when she slid down the 214-foot-high, five-story slide while on a visit with her family celebrating her 30th birthday.
“At the top of The Slide, riders are instructed to cross their legs at the ankles,” the suit states. “Riders are not told why their ankles need to be crossed, the importance of doing so, or the risks of injury if one’s ankles become uncrossed.”
The suit claims that she went airborne at one point on the slide, which forced her ankles apart, and her impact into the standing water at the bottom of the slide caused genital lacerations and internal organ damage, requiring two hospital visits for treatment.
The suit contends Disney failed to provide protective clothing such as shorts, failed to warn her about the dangers of the slide, and failed to maintain it to prevent riders from going airborne. It also claims the design of the Humunga Kowabunga itself is flawed.
The suit also claims Edward McGuinness suffered the loss of his wife’s “care, comfort, consortium, support and services.” The suit does not say where the couple lives.
A Disney spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The alleged injury was not listed on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ theme park injury report for October 2019.
The major theme parks’ agreement with the state allows the companies to self-report visitors’ injuries on rides if they require at least 24 hours of hospitalization. The state doesn’t verify parks’ accounts or punish them if they are inaccurate.
The same year as McGuinness’ alleged injury, the Orlando Sentinel reported, an 11-year-old boy crushed his foot and leg at Universal Orlando’s E.T. Adventure, including broken bones in his toes, foot, and leg, according to attorneys. Universal reported the injury to the state as “foot pain.”
A teenage girl who claimed in a lawsuit she had a stroke on Disney World’s Tower of Terror in 2005 was listed by Disney as having “fell ill.”
Disney has reported at least five injuries at Typhoon Lagoon since 2001, including two women who fell and fractured their legs in 2011 and 2013 and a 31-year-old woman who fell, fractured her leg and later died of a pulmonary embolism in 2003.
Busch Gardens reported two vaginal injuries similar to McGuinness’ claims at its Adventure Island water park in Tampa in 2003, one to a 12-year-old girl and the other to a 21-year-old woman, the state report says.
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