Man Who Fell From Aerial Gondola Sues Disneyland

Times Staff Writer

SANTA ANA - A man who fell out of Disneyland's Skyway gondola ride last year has sued the amusement park for more than $25000.

In April, Randle Charles, 31, of Highland fell 20 feet through an open door on the gondola and landed in a tree at the Alice in Wonderland ride, said his attourney, Steven Lerman of Beverly Hills.

Charles was treated at Western Medical Center-Anaheim and released. Hospital and Disneyland officials said at the time that he had suffered only minor injuries.

But Lerman alleges his client suffered permanent neck and back injuries.

The gondola had a two-step locking procedure in which a lock and a handle had to be opened from the outside by ride operators, and all the doors on the ride had been inspected earlier that morning, a park spokeswoman said.

It's not known why Charles fell.

Lerman said Charles "wasn't doing anything improper and he certainly wasn't trying to get out of the ride."

"Mr. Charles had no warning and just by the grace of God was able to survive the mishap," the lawyer said.

John McClintock, a spokesman for Disneyland, said he did not know about the lawsuit and therefore could not comment.

The Skyway closed last year about five months after the accident. Officials cited the declining popularity of the ride as well as the need to increase staffing at other park attractions.

Charles' mishap was the only accident in the ride's 38-year history, Disneyland officials said.

Source: Los Angeles Times Business Section, Friday March 17
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