Judge sets deadline for Disney to turn in injury data

The Associated Press
Saturday June 09, 2001

LOS ANGELES — A Superior Court judge has set a deadline for the Walt Disney Co. to turn over a list of patrons who suffered brain hemorrhages after riding on park attractions. 

Judge Madeleine Flier ordered the company to turn over a detailed list by June 25 as part of a civil lawsuit that was brought by a San Diego woman who claims she was injured on the “Indiana Jones Adventure” ride at Disneyland and needed intensive medical care almost two years later. 

Flier imposed a $2,500 fine on Disney May 25, accusing the company of repeatedly hindering release of the information. It is the second time Disney has been sanctioned in the case for failing to provide adequate information. 

Deborah Bynum, 45, claims she developed an aneurysm and severe brain bleeding after going on the jarring, rattling ride in November 1998.  

Her attorney, Barry Novack, said the injury threatens to destroy her dream of becoming a math teacher. 

Bynum and her husband, Curtis, who’s in the Navy, are seeking unspecified punitive damages and reimbursement for medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. 

Disney gave Novack a list, with few details, of eight reports of brain hemorrhaging on rides – seven at Disneyland and one at Disney World in Florida.  

He said the list differed vastly from his research, which revealed Disney had received 313 report of various injuries on the Indiana Jones ride. 

Disneyland spokesman Ray Gomez conceded the list was incomplete, saying the company relied on computer searches of claims made at the theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando. 

He said the company is manually reviewing all the claims. 

Novack said he first asked Disney for the documents 10 months ago. In February, a judge sanctioned Disney $1,523 for failing to provide the information. 

Disney provided a list of eight incidents in May, but Flier issued the second sanction in May after calling Disney’s responses “too equivocal” and “very unimpressive.” 

“There must be an effort to look up what it is that you’re being asked to look up,” she said.