A paralyzed man was awarded $8,000 in damages from Disneyland after he became trapped on the "It's a Small World" ride for thirty minutes in 2009.
Jose Martinez was stuck in the "Goodbye Room" on the ride after it broke down on Nov. 27, 2009. Other passengers were evacuated, but Martinez was left to wait for half an hour while the “It’s a Small World” song repeated on a loop.
“He was half in the cave of the ride and half out,” his attorney David Geffen. “The music was blaring. They couldn’t get it to go off.”
Martinez, who suffered a spinal cord injury at age 16, also has chronic problems with diabetes, hypertension, panic attacks and anxiety disorder, according to court documents.
Rather than calling firefighters to get Martinez off the ride, staff just waited until the ride was fixed. After he was finally taken to the Disneyland first aid station, it took three hours to medically stabilize him.
U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled in favor in part of Disney in 2012.
“Martinez’s anxiety increased as his bladder began to fill,” Selna said in a ruling in November which granted Disney’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the majority of the complaint. ”Martinez also developed a severe headache and recognized that he was experiencing autonomic dysreflexia, which is often caused by an overly full bladder.”
Other tales of being trapped on Disney’s ride worldwide include passengers being stuck on “Pirates of the Caribbean” at Disney World for two hours in 2011 while the pirates sang on repeat “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”
Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the theme park provided “appropriate assistance” to Martinez while the ride was being fixed.
Martinez filed suit in 2011 over the incident. The $8,000 awarded to him is for pain and suffering and disability law violations. Disneyland says those violations have been fixed.