Man wins $8K after Disney "Small World" breakdown

This Jan. 23, 2009 file photo shows the characters Aladdin, Jasmine and Abu from the film, "Aladdin," on the "It's A Small World" ride, at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. An attorney says a disabled man, Jose Martinez, was awarded $8,000 by Disneyland after the â??It's A Small Worldâ?? ride broke in 2009, stranding him for half an hour while the theme song played continuously. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Updated 12:03 PM ET

Disneyland and Anaheim, Calif., will pay $8,000 to a disabled man who was stranded for a half hour when a ride broke down.

Jose Martinez, while stranded on "It's a Small World" in 2009.
Jose Martinez, while stranded on "It's a Small World" in 2009.
CBS Los Angeles

Jose Martinez, a quadriplegic, claims he and his wife were stuck on a malfunctioning "It's a Small World" ride in 2009 while he suffered a medical emergency, CBS Radio and CBS Los Angeles report. The couple had brought a video camera and captured the incident on video.

Disney cast members helped Martinez into the ride, but told him they couldn't help him out from where the ride stopped - leaving him trapped for an extended period of time as the music played and mechanical characters danced and whirled. Attorney David Geffen said his client didn't medically stabilize for three hours.

"No one one came to us, which I felt was another potential deadly situation," Martinez said told CBS Los Angeles in February. "I told my wife, I said, 'they want us to roll to first aid? I don't think we're going to make it.'"

Martinez had suffered from dysreflexia, a condition experienced by those with spinal cord injuries caused by stress and oversimulation. Dysreflexia can lead to stroke or death.

Attorney David Geffen says Martinez suffers from panic attacks and high blood pressure, and was aggravated by the fact he had to go to the bathroom, according CBS Radio correspondent Bill Whitney.

Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the Anaheim theme park believes it provided appropriate assistance during the incident, and is disappointed that the court did not fully agree.

Martinez told CBS Los Angeles the goal of his lawsuit was to make sure theme parks are accessible to the disabled.

"This is Disneyland, for crying out loud," he said.

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.