Universal Orlando is being sued over an incident on the E.T. Adventure attraction in January where a 11-year-old Brazilian boy had his foot severely injured when it was caught between the ride vehicle and the exit platform.
The first mention of the January 31 accident was post on Reddit the following day. While the initial rumors exaggerated the injuries, the suit says Tiago Perez suffered serious harm when his left foot became stuck between the vehicle and the concrete platform at the end of the attraction, crushing his foot and breaking bones in his toes and leg.
The suit against Universal, filed by Tiago’s mother Roberta Perez, says the theme park knew the E.T. Adventure’s design and operation presented a danger to guests and failed to properly warn riders.
“The E.T. Adventure ride was unreasonably dangerous in that the ride generated forces and risk of injury to human extremities and/or body parts being caught and crushed during ride operation,” the suit said.
The Perez family is seeking $15,000 in damages from Universal.
The lawsuit further alleged that the seats on the E.T. ride — made to look the flying bicycles from the 1982 Steven Spielberg film — do not properly hold younger riders like Perez, while also noting Universal doesn’t provide any warning signs in Portuguese.
Ed Normund, the attorney representing the Perez family, did not immediately respond to Orlando Rising’s request for comment. Universal has declined to comment on the lawsuit. The park’s only public statement on the matter was a Feb. 1 statement that it was “confident the attraction was operating normally at the the time” of the accident.
Since the accident, Universal has put new off-loading procedures in place on the E.T. Adventure. Ride operators now stop ride vehicles before they approach the platform, remind guests to keep their hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle, and visually check the position of riders’ feet before allowing the vehicle to proceed.
This longer off-loading procedure has resulted in higher wait times for E.T. Adventure, which is the sole surviving ride from the Universal Studios Florida’s opening day in 1990.