Attorney: Daytona Beach roller coaster victims may have lifelong injuries

'Only time will tell' if victims file lawsuit, Matt Morgan says

By Harley Smith - Digital Intern

Courtesy the Daytona Beach Fire Department

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Attorney Matt Morgan, representing victims of the derailed roller coaster in Daytona Beach, says he is prepared to file a lawsuit. 

According to the attorney, whether or not a suit is filed depends upon how much insurance coverage there was on the roller coaster.

While the minimum coverage is $1 million, Morgan said, "A million dollars is not going to be enough to cover all the injuries associated with this loss." 

"If the insurance companies responsible for insuring this particular ride do the right thing, there should not be the need to file a formal lawsuit," Morgan noted.

The three victims he represents will likely have lifelong damages, including neck, back and spinal injuries. 

One victim, Amanda Bostick of Kentucky, fell 34 feet. 

"That's three basketball goals stacked up on top of each other and another half goal," said Matt Morgan. "When she fell from the roller coaster, she bounced like ping-pong ball in between the railings."

The other passengers who did not fall were left hanging onto the ride for about 45 minutes until they were rescued. 

One of his clients still remains hospitalized with about 10 broken bones.  

"They hung from the track fearing that their cars were to going to fall off of the coaster," Morgan said. 

In preparation for a lawsuit, Morgan said he has experts peeling through the roller coaster's maintenance and inspection records to find the exact cause of the failure. 

Bill Avery, president of Avery Safety Consulting, said that there are "usually signs [of failure] that are going on." 

"In this case, and you have this kind of failure and it’s not operating correctly, it still should have restrained the patrons in the ride if it was properly applied," Avery said.

Morgan said "only time will tell" whether or not the victims file a lawsuit.

Safety records show the same ride passed a follow-up safety inspection on the same day of the accident after failing a prior inspection back in May for excessive corrosion.

State inspectors told News 6 before Thursday the ride had been shut down for almost a month,  since May 17, since the previous inspection. 

Meanwhile, GOP governor candidate Adam Putnam said he’s working to find out how this happened. He leads the Florida Department of Agriculture, which inspects ride, and said this same ride has seen issues before.  

“We are investigating that now to determine whether the accident was caused by items that were related to the prior deficiencies or something completely new," Putnam said.

News 6 also learned Monday the ride was manufactured by Pinfari, according to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

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