dolly parton sued dollywood
NASHVILLE, TN - JULY 31: Dolly Parton: Pure & Simple 7th Annual Gift Of Music. Night one of two sold out shows at The Ryman Auditorium on July 31, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Legendary country music star Dolly Parton got some bad news this week when she learned that her theme park Dollywood is being targeted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

Fox News reported that a couple who brought their two daughters to Dollywood last summer is asking for $2 million in damages after they say the wife was seriously injured while riding the RiverRush Water Coaster.

The Dollywood website calls this ride “Tennessee’s first and only water coaster,” saying it “races through the trees four stories in the air as you experience four drops along 1,175 feet of track.” When the couple brought their daughters to the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee theme park, they decided to try out the ride themselves, but it didn’t take long for them to regret this.

PIGEON FORGE, TN – OCTOBER 24: American singer and songwriter Dolly Parton poses for a portrait at Dollywood on October 24, 1988 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. (Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images)

The couple claimed in court documents that they followed Dollywood Splash Country staff instructions while boarding the water ride, but when the raft reached the apex of its ascent, the wife was “propelled off the seat and she then fell down into the raft striking her spine on the hard surface.” She alleges that she then heard something pop and felt a burning sensation and that she had no feeling in her legs. By the end of the ride, the wife claims that she could not move her legs at all and that she suffered a compression fracture and other spinal injuries.

Dollywood has been sued by people alleging injuries like this one in the past. Tedi and Derryl Brown filed a lawsuit against Dollywood in 2014 claiming that the wife suffered a permanent brain injury after falling from a ride called the Waltzing Swinger. Dollywood responded by claiming she had jumped out of the ride before it ended, and both parties eventually agreed to mediation.

We can only hope that Parton’s theme park can get this difficult legal situation figured out!

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