You may never think about water slides the same way again after hearing about this case.
A woman is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for injuries she allegedly sustained as a result of… getting a ‘wedgie’ at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park in Florida.
Water Slide ‘Wedgie‘
According to legal filings, Emma McGuinness was celebrating her thirtieth birthday on October 14, 2019, at Typhoon Lagoon water park as part of a two-week stay at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL, when she was injured on an attraction.
McGuinness allegedly “suffered from severe and permanent bodily injury” after going down the park’s Humunga Kowabunga water slide. The slide is billed by Disney as a “near-vertical, five-story drop in the dark” that plunges riders some 214 feet into a pool of water. Before sliding down, guests are instructed to cross their ankles in order to lessen the risk of injury, but the suit claims riders are not informed of what those injuries could be.
After beginning the ride in the recommended position, the complaint details that McGuinness’ body “lifted up,” which “increased the likelihood of her legs becoming uncrossed.” As a result, she allegedly “experienced immediate and severe pain internally” at the end of the ride and, “as she stood up, blood began rushing from between her legs.” Her injuries also included “severe vaginal lacerations” and a “full thickness laceration” that caused her bowel to “protrude through her abdominal wall.”
The lawsuit filed last week in the Circuit Court for Orange County, FL, seeks “damages exceeding $50,000, exclusive of interest and costs” and alleges Disney knew or should have known the risk to patrons. “Specifically, when a rider of The Slide reached the bottom of the ride and traveled into the pool of water designed to stop further travel, the force of the water can push loose garments into a person’s anatomy – an event known as a ‘wedgie,’” the suit reads. “Because of a woman’s anatomy, the risk of a painful ‘wedgie’ is more common and more serious than it is for a man.”
The Strength of the Case
So, how will McGuinness’ case hold up in court? “It seems like a bit of a money grab,” Eiglarsh said. While he has “two and a half strikes against her,” he admitted that “she is not out” and he would like a few questions answered. “I’d like to know where the injuries came from, if it’s exclusively as a result of the ride, what did she do to cause her injuries because, again, they tell you to close your legs,” he said. “And then here’s the biggest question: How many millions of people went down the slide with no injury? Are there any other reported cases? That’s what I’d like to know.”
Aidala agreed that last point will be key to the defense. “You stand in front of a jury and you say, ‘Listen, we estimate that 8 million people have gone down this slide over the last X amount of years and no one has had any type of injury anything close to this. We think that this person came to the ride with a pre-existing weakness in that part of her body and, ladies and gentlemen, the sign right there says cross your ankles. She’s admitted she didn’t cross her ankles, and the reason why we tell people to cross their ankles is so that the water doesn’t rush up all into your private parts whether you’re a man or a woman,'” he said.
The Orlando Sentinel reports Disney has disclosed at least five injuries at Typhoon Lagoon since 2001, with most involving fractured limbs. Busch Gardens Adventure Island water park in Tampa, FL, meanwhile, has reported two vaginal injuries similar to McGuinness’ claims since 2003.
Ultimately, Megyn believes this is a warning to all water slide riders. “Haven’t we all had the water slide experience where it’s like whoa, Nelly,” she asked. “Men have it in a different way than women have it, but you know when you go down an especially forceful water slide that it can be unpleasant.” Her takeaway: “This is one of the many reasons why I don’t do it.”
You can check out Megyn’s full Kelly’s Court by tuning in to episode 641 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.