The Greater Gulf State Fair, Inc. operated the Gulf State Fair in Mobile County, Alabama. One of the events at the fair was a mechanical bull ride, and participants paid money to ride the mechanical bull. A mechanical bull is a ride where the rider sits on a motorized device shaped like a real bull and the ride simulates a real bull ride as the mechanical bull turns, twists, and bucks. The challenge is to stay on the bull and not be thrown off it. A large banner above the ride reads “Rolling Thunder.” John Lilya and a friend watched a rider being thrown from the mechanical bull. Lilya also watched as his friend paid and rode the bull and was also thrown off. Lilya then paid the $ 5 admission charge and boarded the mechanical bull. He was immediately thrown off onto a soft pad underneath the bull.
Lilya reboarded the bull for a second ride. The bull ride began again and became progressively faster, spinning and bucking to the left and right until Lilya fell off the bull. On the fall, Lilya landed on his head and shoulders, and he suffered a fractured neck. Lilya sued Gulf State Fair to recover damages for his severe injuries. Was riding the mechanical bull an open and obvious danger for which Lilya had voluntarily assumed the risk? Lilya v. The Greater Gulf State Fair, Inc., 855 So. 2d 1049, 2003 Ala. Lexis 57 ( Supreme Court of Alabama, 2003)

  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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