A couple is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts after one of them sustained an “injurious” wedgie at Typhoon Lagoon water park.
Emma McGuinness got hurt while riding the Humunga Kowabunga water slide in October 2019, she and her husband Edward said in the lawsuit filed in Orange County, Florida last week.
She rode the slide – where guests speed 214 feet downhill – while visiting Walt Disney World with her family, in part for her 30th birthday. “The impact of The Slide and her impact into the standing water at the bottom of The Slide caused Ms. McGuinness’ clothing to be painfully forced between her legs and for water to be violently forced inside her,” the complaint said.
McGuinness, who was wearing a one-piece swimsuit, felt “immediate and severe pain internally” and was bleeding between her legs, the complaint said. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and later transported to another hospital for “the repair of her gynecologic injuries.”
Alan Wagner, an attorney for the couple, said McGuinness's injuries included an arterial bleed and full-thickness vaginal laceration.
"Given its experience and expertise in thrill rides, it is hard to imagine that Disney did not know that water slides like its Humunga Kowabunga could hurt people and expose women, in particular, to painful and permanent injuries to their genitalia and internal organs," he said in an email.
The couple is seeking “damages exceeding $50,000, exclusive of interest and costs.” Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The suit alleges Disney Parks was negligent “and breached its duties of reasonable care owed to Ms. McGuinness” by not giving her or other patrons protective clothing or equipment like shorts; failing to warn her of the dangers she and other women faced on the slide; not adequately maintaining or inspecting the slide to keep riders from becoming airborne and other shortcomings.
According to the complaint, riders are told to cross their legs at the ankles at the top of the slide, though they are not told why. While McGuinness assumed that position, she became airborne close to the end of the slide and was “slammed downward” against it, making it more likely her legs would become uncrossed, the suit alleged.
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“Because of their particular anatomy, and as a consequence of the type of swimwear women frequently wear, the risk of water being forced inside their body is greater than it is for men,” the complaint said.
As a result, the complaint said McGuinness has faced pain and suffering, scarring mental anguish, loss of earnings and other impacts. Edward McGuinness also allegedly “suffered loss of his wife's care, comfort, consortium, support and services.”
Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Disney faces lawsuit over water slide wedgie injury