Can you hear me NOW? Flying cell phone is no joke to amusement park patron

The Daily Record Newswire

BOSTON, MA -- Can you hear me now? It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's a cell phone?

The phone plummeted from the sky and it whacked 27-year-old Yuleika Smith on the forehead as she waited in line for the thrill ride ''Scream'' at Six Flags New England in June 2007, according to her attorney.

Christopher Williams of Williams and Associates in Boston has filed a personal injury suit in Norfolk Superior Court against the owner of the flying cell phone, Six Flags and several other companies affiliated with the amusement park.

Williams alleges that the cell phone's owner, Nicole Puddester of Wrentham, was negligent because she brought the phone onto the ride and failed to keep it secure.

''We don't know what she was doing with it - whether it was in her pocket and fell out, or if she was trying to take a video,'' Williams says. ''Somehow it came out of her possession and hit Yuleika on the head.''

He says Six Flags and the affiliated companies should have installed a safety net around the base of the ride to prevent riders' belongings from falling and injuring the patrons below.

They also should have required riders to leave their personal possessions in a locker or with someone else before they boarded Scream, he says.

''Speed up or shoot down over 200 feet in a matter of seconds on Scream - a 20-story high triple-tower mega-thrill complex,'' the Six Flags' website says of the ride.

''Go sky-high on the Space Shot, plummet down on the Turbo Drop, or get sent in both directions on the Combo tower.''

The cell phone that fell from Scream hit Smith, now 30, with enough force to give her a concussion and leave her with a wound that required 14 stitches, Williams says.

''You've heard stories of people dropping pennies from the Empire State Building and killing people on the sidewalk below,'' he says.

''Well, this was a cell phone falling 20 stories.''

The phone caused ''severe and permanent scarring and disfigurement,'' Williams writes in the complaint.

He also says Smith suffers from post-concussion syndrome, which includes ''severe, constant and continuing headaches, as well as multiple other injuries and damages.''

So far, Smith has claimed $14,378 in damages for medical expenses, which include chiropractic treatment and physical therapy, plus another $15,000 for future medical procedures.

Smith has a scar that begins at her hairline and extends to the middle of her forehead, Williams says.

''It's a pretty significant gash,'' he says.

''To me, it just seems preposterous that this can happen - that you wouldn't protect individuals standing there innocently waiting to go on a ride and enjoy themselves for the day.''

Published: Thu, Jul 29, 2010

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