SHORT TAKES : Studio Tour Sues Ride Designer


Universal Studios Florida has sued the designer of "Jaws" and "Earthquake--The Big One," two highly touted thrill rides that have been shut down except for brief periods since the park's June 7 opening.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Orange County (Fla.) Circuit Court against Ride & Show Engineering Inc. of San Dimas, Calif., claims the company used poor design and workmanship on the rides and failed to have them operating by the grand opening of the $630-million studio tour.

Ride & Show Engineering plans to fight the suit and is considering a counterclaim against the theme park, said Joseph B. McHugh, the firm's vice president of marketing and administration.

"We strongly disagree with Universal's claims," McHugh said. "Except for the expense of litigation, we welcome the chance to vindicate our company."

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