Two sets of tourists say they were injured on the Walt Disney World’s PeopleMover when the carts crashed into each other during separate incidents, a pair of lawsuits claim.
The suits, filed recently in Orange Circuit Court, seek more than $15,000 in damages.
Disney did not provide comment.
Open since 1975, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a slow-moving tram that transports passengers in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. On the 10-minute ride, the maximum speed is about 7 mph, according to a Disney Parks Blog post from 2011.
Heather and John Tregidgo, who were on vacation from New Jersey, rode the PeopleMover with their two children in June 2015, the first lawsuit filed in late February said.
“The cart containing the Tregidgo Family began to move throughout the Magic Kingdom Park when it suddenly came to an abrupt stop in the darkness of the Space Mountain attraction,” the suit detailed.
“After the cart containing the Tregidgo Family came to a stop, it was struck from behind by a trailing cart,” the lawsuit said, which called the PeopleMover “dangerous” and “a concealed trap.”
The force of the impact didn’t throw them out of their vehicle but still caused serious injuries, the attorney said.
Heather Tregidgo needed two orthopedic surgeries that cost more than $175,000 in medical bills, said Winter Park attorney Robert Hemphill, who is handling the case with California attorney Barry Novack.
In the second lawsuit filed March 1, Kristie Deieso, a New York resident who came to Orlando on a girls trip, says she was injured when PeopleMover cars collided in February 2017.
The ride had just begun and then unexpectedly stopped about 100 yards from the station, said her Orlando attorney Brian Wilson.
The next tram slammed into Deieso’s cart, according to court documents.
Deieso injured her neck and shoulder, eventually requiring surgery to fix problems from a herniated disc in her neck, Wilson said.
“The injury to [Deieso] is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical probability and (she) will continue to suffer the losses in the future,” the lawsuit said.
It’s not the first time somebody has filed a lawsuit against Disney after riding the PeopleMover.
A pair of sisters from South Florida who were riding with two children sued in 2017 saying they were seriously injured when carts crashed on Jan. 31 2015. The case closed in July after an undisclosed settlement was reached, court records show.
Both Hemphill and Wilson said they were seeking to get more information on what, if anything, Disney did to adjust the ride after the previous alleged incident as they move forward with their lawsuits.
“The fact they’ve had problems before, it always put someone on notice there’s underlying issues that need to be addressed,” Wilson said.
Disney self-reports to the state the most serious injuries on the rides where people are immediately hospitalized for at least 24 hours. None of the injuries from the lawsuits appear to be disclosed, according to state documents.
Over the years, only a handful of issues were reported on the PeopleMover and mostly involve elderly people feeling dizzy or getting hurt while exiting.