Court denies Illinois Six Flags water park’s lawsuit appeal

Court upholds $1.5 million verdict against Hurricane Harbor

Six Flags, waterpark lawsuit
A $1.5 million judgment awarded to a woman injured on a water slide at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Gurnee has been upheld by a state appeals court.
Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 2005

A state appeals court Wednesday upheld a jury verdict giving a Chicago woman $1.5 million for injuries she suffered in July 2011 while on a water slide at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park in Gurnee.

Shatoya Meeks sustained lacerations and torn ligaments that left her unable to move three fingers of her left hand, according to testimony from a 2016 trial in Lake County.

Meeks worked as an administrative assistant, but the injury left her unable to perform her job duties, she testified. The injury also made it difficult to perform daily activities like brushing her teeth and cooking for her children, she said.

Her lawsuit alleged that Hurricane Harbor carelessly and negligently operated the water slide, failed to provide adequate warning to guests of its hazards, and failed to inspect it properly to ensure it was safe.

Her attorney, Joseph Ryan, said Meeks underwent three surgeries after she was hurt on the “Wahoo Racer” water slide and she will have deliberating injuries for the rest of her life.

Six Flags appealed the jury’s decision, arguing that jurors received an improper instruction from Judge Diane E. Winter as a sanction for their failure to disclose eyewitnesses and produce written incident reports those witnesses completed.

The Second District Appellate Court of Illinois unanimously rejected the appeal.

Ryan said attorneys for Six Flags could ask the Illinois Supreme Court to consider the case.

Six Flags’ attorneys were not available for comment Thursday.

Source: Daily Herald

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