Disney Fatal Monorail Crash Suit Settled
Walt Disney World has made a private settlement deal with Christine Wuennenberg, who filed a civil suit against the park in January 2010 for the "wrongful death" of her son, 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg.
Walt Disney World Resort
Wuennenberg, a monorail driver, was killed when another monorail train backed into the front of the train he was driving.
"The case has been settled to the parties' satisfaction" Bryan Malenius, Walt Disney World Resort spokesman said to AOL Travel News. "The terms of the settlement are confidential."
Part of the court record is now sealed, but an electronic record shows the case was "dismissed pursuant to settlement after hearing," reports the Orlando Sentinel.
In the court documents it was revealed that the monorail manager David Gilmore was actually miles away at a restaurant off of Disney property, which he admitted in an interview, reports local news station WESH.
Had Gilmore been in the tower, Christine Wuennenberg said he would have seen that his orders put the pink monorail on a collision course with the purple train piloted by her son.
The pink train was backing along a track switch that was supposed to re-align but didn't, so the train wound up driving in reverse, smashing into Wuennenberg's train, reports the Sentinel.
Disney said in its filings that on the morning of the July 5 accident, the operator incorrectly reported the position of the switch beams that are used to control the monorails.
In August 2010, Disney announced it would hire Central Monorail Controllers to oversee traffic on all monorail tracks with a person focusing solely on the trains.
After the crash, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Disney $44,000 for serious safety violations related to the incident, which was later lowered to $35,200, reports the news station.
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