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Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Widow Blames Disney for Husband’s Death

ORLANDO (CN) - A widow blames Disney's Animal Kingdom for the death of her husband, who was run over while working on a roller coaster at the theme park.

Click here to check out Courthouse News' Entertainment Law Digest.

Terrie Roscoe sued Walt Disney Parks and Resorts dba Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, for the wrongful death of her husband, Russell Roscoe.

She claims her late husband, 52, was on the roller coaster track, testing the brakes of the Primeval Whirl March 13, 2011 when "a Disney ride operator broke protocol and instead of announcing that (a) car was going to be released down the track, he announced one time that the car was going to be released and immediately released the car."

But the loudspeaker near her husband "was not working properly and/or was muted," the widow says, and her husband was struck by the car, traveling at 20 feet per second, giving him fatal head injuries.

At the time, the system was in "maintenance mode," which disables the brakes on a car if a gate is opened, according to the complaint in Orange County Court.

She claims that Disney requires its maintenance workers, including her late husband, to work long shifts, without overtime pay. "This fostered a rushed environment whereby important implemental safety precautions were ignored by management at Walt Disney Inc.," according to the complaint.

Russell Roscoe was the second person to die while working on the Primeval Whirl, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Disney employee Karen Price, 63, was hit by a roller-coaster car and killed in November 2007, the Sentinel reported at the time.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Disney with four workplace safety violations after Roscoe's death, according to the Sentinel.

Terrie Roscoe seeks damages for wrongful death, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and lost support.

She is represented by Brian Denney of West Palm Beach.

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