Respondents MOAC Mall Holding LLC and MOA Management Company Inc. own and operate an amusement park located at the Mall of America. One of the rides in this amusement park is the Paul Bunyan Log Chute, a water flue ride in which guests are seated in an artificial hollow log or boat astride a padded bench seat. The boat moves through a water filled canal, propelled by the flow of water, until it reaches a mechanical lift that raises the boat up an incline. The culmination of the ride is the boat’s descent into a body of water.
In June 2004, appellant Barbra Nash rode the log chute with her grandson and his friend. Although Nash had ridden the log chute at least three times before, she claims she was injured during the final descent of the June 2004 ride. Nash alleged that she was lifted from her seat and back down forcefully, causing injury to her coccyx. Appellant subsequently had surgery to remove her coccyx.
Nash sued respondents alleging that she was “injured as a result of [respondents’] negligence in failing to operate, manage and equip a ride safe for occupants.” To support her claims, appellant hired William Avery, a safety consulting expert, who issued a report regarding respondents’’ alleged negligence. Appellant proffered Avery to testify about the industrial safety standards for the safe operation of amusement park rides and to explain the American Society for Testing International (ASTM) on Amusement Rides and Devises standard to the jury.
* If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise. The opinion must have…