Man collapses and dies after riding Universal's King Kong ride, family sues theme park for failing to post warnings in Spanish for tourists
Jose Calderón Arana suffered a heart attack after riding the Skull Island: Reign of Kong ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure on December 10, 2016
Universal Studios theme park has been slapped with a wrongful death lawsuit by the wife of a Guatemalan man who died after riding the 'Skull Island: Reign of Kong' ride on December 10, 2016.
The 38-year-old, Jose Calderón Arana, had decided to rest on a bench after the ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando. By the time his wife and their eight-year-old son returned to check on him, they found him on the ground surrounded by people.
Calderón Arana was taken to Dr. Phillips Hospital but was pronounced dead after suffering a massive heart attack.
This month, the family's attorney filed a lawsuit against the theme park in the Orange Circuit Court and are seeking in excess of $15,000 in damages, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
In the lawsuit, Jennifer Dayan Tellez Lopez de Calderon and Jose Ernesto Calderon Tellez claim that there should have been signs for tourists that don't speak English warning a "potential for cardiovascular incident".
"The theory of liability is that there was insufficient warning signage posted at the attraction and that only English language signs were in place for the patrons, but no Spanish," the claim states, according to WFLA.
The family also claims that aid took a lot of time to come and assist the father. This particular ride has a warning sign of possible complications, but only in English. "This is a safety advisory," a recorded audio warning states. "Riders should expect sudden and extreme movement."
The 'Skull Island' ride had only been open for five months at the time of Jose's death. The riders wear 3-D glasses and go on an expedition dodging bats, dinosaurs and other creatures before stumbling on the large gorilla beast that is Kong. The immersive ride sends passengers across air and water.
Calderón Arana, who owned a corporate pepper farm in Guatemala but sold largely to US buyers, hardly spoke any English. He was also diagnosed with a prior heart condition but was cleared by a cardiologist to travel and go on vacation.
His death certificate listed the cause as a heart attack, multivessel coronary disease, and cardiogenic shock. This condition occurs when the heart isn't getting enough blood for the body.
However, a Universal spokesperson told the Orlando Sentinel the theme park was in compliance with its agreement with the state.