Lawsuit blames Knott's Berry Farm log ride for girl's injuries

Lawsuit asks Knott's Berry Farm for punitive damages, money to pay for medical bills of girl injured on ride

The family of a young girl who it says was injured in an accident on a Knott’s Berry Farm ride has filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court, asking for punitive damages and the cost of medical bills.

The lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of Kristine Laborte contends that Knott's Berry Farm had been warned by state regulators about problems with the Timber Mountain Log Ride before Kristine was injured last summer.

A representative of Knott’s Berry Farm could not be reached for comment.

The flume ride opened in 1969 and was renovated in 2013 with new animatronic characters that tell the story of California's gold mining era.

Kristine, who was 6 at the time, was sitting with her father in the floating log vehicle on July 27, 2014, when the vehicle reached the bottom of a long drop and stopped suddenly, smashing her face against the back of the seat in front of her, according to the suit.

The lawsuit says the girl lost consciousness and suffered a broken orbital bone and vision problems.

The lawsuit cites nine previous incidents from 2000 to 2014 in which it says children were hurt on the ride. The State Department of Occupational Safety and Health has notified the park about previous safety issues, some of which have not been addressed, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit describes the ride as “dangerous, defective, hazardous,” and said the ride vehicle needs foot braces on the floor so young riders won’t slide forward. The lawsuit also says a mechanism should warn employees when the water level on the ride drops too low.

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