Tedi A. Brown and her husband, Derryl, asked a Dollywood employee working the Waltzing Swinger if it was safe to ride it in wintry conditions. There was a mix of sleet and rain that day at Dolly Parton’s Tennessee theme park (it was December 2013). According to the Browns’ lawsuit, the family was told not to worry.
The Waltzing Swinger comprises individual seats that rise 25 feet into the air and tilt outward. When Tedi thought the ride was over she lifted her lap bar. When she realized the ride wasn’t over – they were too high to get off – she “lost her grip on the lap bar due to the slick conditions.” Tedi fell headfirst onto the pavement. She suffered “spine and neck injuries, torn ligaments and a broken jaw,” according to the lawsuit. The Browns are seeking $475,000 in damages.