Do-You-Think-He-Sue-Us? A Legal Analysis of the Jurassic Park Disaster

The Jurassic universe does not have a fondness for members of the legal community. This comes as somewhat of a shock since most of the InGen antics undoubtedly have far-reaching legal ramifications, and there are likely dozens of attorneys with the sole purpose of keeping the company out of too much trouble. After diving into the intricacies surrounding the legalities surrounding Jurassic Park, it is honestly difficult to decide who had the harder job, the geneticists or the lawyers. As an attorney myself, my goal here is to expound briefly on what liabilities Jurassic Park likely faced upon its implosion and of course, avoid being eaten on a toilet.

For this article, we are going to have to make a few big assumptions. First assumption: the laws of the United States apply. Most smart companies with assets in foreign countries will establish a subsidiary in the country where those assets reside. The benefit of the subsidiary means that any lawsuits brought against the company can utilize the foreign country’s laws and court system. Some companies elect to do this if they see that the foreign country’s laws are more favorable in a particular area where they are at risk of a lawsuit. Even though InGen was headquartered in California, Jurassic Park was built on Costa Rican soil. I cannot find any reference to an InGen subsidiary in Costa Rica in any of the canon, and since classifying InGen as a “smart” company gives me pause, it is entirely possible that lawsuits filed by American paleontologists, chaoticians, and tourists back in the United States could follow U.S. laws.

But assuming the United States law governs, what kind of disastrous bill is InGen in store for? Well, we know they were on the verge of Chapter 11 bankruptcy following the events of Jurassic Park, but what put them there? In California, where Jurassic Park was originally supposed to be built, the laws surrounding actual zoos are no laughing matter. Regulations control nearly every aspect of the park, from the specifications of building enclosures, right down to posting correct signage. In the eyes of the law, housing and maintaining a wild animal is virtually the same as working with uranium or using explosives. It is known as an “ultrahazardous activity.” Conducting these types of activities in California comes with a harsh legal consequence – the party conducting the activity is strictly liable for any injuries these animals cause to park patrons. In other words, even the most careful of zoos are likely to be held accountable for visitors wounded by the animals. Basically, even the countless miles of Jurassic Park electrified fences would not be able to hold back the costly verdict from an injured park-goer.

While the concept of a Jurassic Park may be fiction, the situation of an escaped wild animal in a zoo is certainly not. In 2011, a 300-pound gorilla named “Little Joe” escaped from his enclosure at the New England Zoo. After the gorilla attacked a two-year-old child, a jury found that the zoo failed to use reasonable care to keep the gorilla confined and awarded the child’s family a verdict of $175,000. Eerily enough, the most similar incident to Jurassic Park took place in the same state where the original park was supposed to be built. In 2007, a Siberian tiger jumped out of its enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo and ran amok inside the park. Before being subdued, the tiger killed one boy and injured two brothers. The surviving brothers sued the zoo and settled for a costly $900,000 sum before trial.

With the deaths seen in Jurassic Park, it would not be unthinkable for a jury to award family members of the victims an even greater amount. Many factors are taken into consideration for a wrongful death suit. These can include the victim’s pre-death pain and suffering, funeral and burial cost, loss of income, loss of love and companionship, and value of services the victim could have provided, among many others. These concepts are purposefully abstract and let a jury determine an appropriate amount based on their own thoughts and experiences. A jury presented with a wrongful death case involving a mauling from an escaped velociraptor could run wild with these figures. While it is hard to speculate on an exact number, think upwards of a potential $1.5 million per victim if there’s no cap on the amount of damages a victim can receive.

Just as a side note, as expensive as the Jurassic Park incident would have been, it would not hold a candle to the expense of battling the lawsuits from the injured park-goers of Jurassic World. There is no doubt that the numerous attendees would have brought a class action lawsuit, and California law nearly assures that such an action has to be brought in California. If the Jurassic Park incident nearly put InGen into bankruptcy, the Jurassic World incident should have obliterated the Masrani Company. In the words of Claire Dearing, “We’d never reopen.”

This brings up assumption number two: InGen did not make the visiting dinosaur experts sign any waivers of liability. While such a waiver would not likely bar the injured guests from recovering money for their damages, it could put a cap on how much they could recover. In addition, it might force the victim to give up their right to a jury trial and mandate they attend arbitration instead. Arbitration is an alternate form of dispute resolution that divorces the issue from the government court systems. Rules can be more relaxed, and this can work in favor of the company in some cases. Most theme parks today include language on the back of their ticket stubs that stipulate arbitration as a mandatory requirement of enjoying the park. Next time you head to a big theme park, or even a sports event, check your ticket for what you are actually signing up for.

What are your thoughts on InGen being held accountable for their actions? Are costly settlements enough or should InGen execs just all be subjected to the same fate as Gennaro? Sound off with your opinions in the comments below.

Source: Gomez Law Firm, ABC News San Francisco, Boston Herald

Universal Studios Hollywood May Re-theme Jurassic Park: The Ride to Jurassic World According to Rumor

Might we finally get a Jurassic World themed attraction at Universal Studios theme parks?

Yes! Well maybe….kind of? According to a rumor from Theme Park University, Universal Studios Hollywood may be gearing up to transform Jurassic Park: The Ride into a Jurassic World themed ride.

It’s been made public that Comcast wants a new attraction in every Universal park every year moving forward….Which brings us to 2019. If what I’m hearing from folks who work at Universal Studios Hollywood is correct, Jurassic Park: The Ride will be operational through at least part (most?) of the summer season and then close to make a transformation into a Jurassic World The Ride attraction.

While nothing is official and any report should of course be taken fully as a rumor, it does make sense for Universal Studios Hollywood to update Jurassic Park: The Ride. Having opened in June of 1996, the ride will be entering its 22nd year of operation. As pointed out by Theme Park University the animatronic dinosaurs in the ride have become quite dated and are in the need of a major upgrade so a Jurassic World revamp may also indicate new upgraded animatronics.

Further, this aligns with reports we heard some time back, suggesting a makeover was planned (then at IOA rather than Hollywood), re-branding the area to Jurassic World, complete with a state of the art Indominus Rex animatronic. If the general concept still stands, while the ride will take place within ‘Jurassic World’, Jurassic Park should still make an appearance as the ride vehicle is diverted through the old park ruins.

Our speculation would be that it is likely that the ride itself would remain the same as a boat on the same track but that the theming, dinosaurs and ride story would be new (while still following the same basic story structure). It is also likely that the new ride would not only include the Indomnius Rex from the 2015 film, but also Velociraptor Blue and a Mosasaurus cameo. Finally, the old dinosaurs are expected to get entirely new fixtures, featuring actual film accurate designs.

It is unclear if dinosaurs or aspects from the yet unreleased Fallen Kingdom would be included in any possible revamp.

Sadly, this does mean the great ‘Jurassic Park’ theming for the rest of the ride and area would switch to the more modern ‘World’ look – as World borrows from real world parks like Universal and Disney, it offers less of a unique sense of escapism. It remains to be seen how they will keep Jurassic unique, in line with its more safari adventure vibe it is known for, and is currently featuring.

Theme Park University also says that they are hearing this will only be for Universal Studios Hollywood and that currently the Jurassic Park ride at Islands Of Adventure in Flordia won’t be changing.

Also make sure to check out the full rumor article at Theme Park University as they make guesses and speculate themselves of what a Jurassic World themed ride may entail.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on our forums!

Source: Theme Park University

Universal Studios Japan Announces New Parade Featuring Jurassic World!

When it comes to Jurassic Park, Universal Studios Japan gets all the good stuff. Their dinosaurs look more accurate to the films, their encounters are more robust, and their rides are newer, with more variety. So it comes as no surprise that Universal Studios Japan is getting an epic new parade with Jurassic World as a headliner. While details are still few, the piece of key art released paints an exciting picture.

Read the first details about the Universal Spectacle Night Parade in the press release below!

Universal Studios Japan will introduce a new large-scale project in 2018, the world’s first next-generation parade, “Universal Spectacle Night Parade – Best of Hollywood”, which will revolutionize the traditional experience.

Universal Studios Japan continues to invest in new experience to bring park guests innovative entertainment.

The “Universal Spectacle Night Parade – Best of Hollywood” will celebrate 4 of Hollywood’s most fan favorite films, including “Harry Potter” “Minions,” “Jurassic World”, and making their Park debut in the parade “Transformers”, the born-in- Japan entertainment brand with its popular toys, games, animation and feature films.

J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World and its captivating magic, the Illimination’s “Minions” and their mayhem, theenormous robots “Transformers”, and the realism of the “Jurassic World” dinosaurs come together to be recreated in a continually changing entertainment spectacle. Park guests will be completely enveloped and fully immersed in this brand-new and continually changing entertainment, which far surpasses the traditional theme park parade experience.

The impossible is made possible with perfect synchronization of projection mapping, which completely cover the surroundings, floats incorporating dynamic movements, high quality film lighting, sweeping cinematic score and performances by live entertainers through the use of “Show Orchestration,” an outstanding technology specially developed by Universal Creative.

Followers of our website will no doubt recognize that Tyrannosaurus Rex render as one of the new pieces of key art being circulated for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – and yes, it appears that the second T.rex in the background is another new render from the upcoming sequel. More eagle eyed readers may also recognize the rocky mountain in the backdrop from the early ‘JW2’ licensing expo banners spotted earlier this year. The red glow from behind also seems to be a hint of volcanic activity, which may well factor into the parade itself.

Considering that they keyart heavily borrows from the upcoming sequel, it is very possible the events showcased in the parade are inspired by Fallen Kingdom. Could that mean a Tyrannosaurus chasing a Gyropshere scene will be featured – or is that simply creative liberty taken while creating the parade? Time will tell!

The final key note of importance is this is the first time the parks have used the branding of ‘Jurassic World’ rather than ‘Jurassic Park’. While it’s only for a parade at this time, it may be a sign of future things to come.

Are you excited for the new parade – and do you hope it comes to the other Universal parks, such at the one in Florida? Sound off in the comments below, and let us know. As always, stay tuned for all of the latest news!

Special thanks to @thepastrypossum on Twitter for the heads up!

Source: Universal Studios Japan