11-Year-Old Boy's Foot Is Crushed on Universal Studios' E.T. Ride, Lawsuit Claims
Tiago Perez suffered a broken leg and a fractured foot and toes after his foot was crushed on the ride, according to a lawsuit
What was supposed to be the “trip of a lifetime” turned into a nightmare for an 11-year-old boy when his foot was “crushed” while on a ride at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Tiago Perez and his family traveled from Brazil to celebrate his 11th birthday at the themepark, the family’s attorney Edmund Normand tells PEOPLE. Perez and a group of his young relatives had just reached end of the E.T. Adventure ride when tragedy struck on Jan. 31.
Normand says the ride was coming to a stop when Perez’s foot became wedged between the ride and the concrete platform. His left leg was broken, and his foot and toes were severely fractured, Normand says.
Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
“He eventually was able to pull his leg out,” Normand tells PEOPLE. “His family tried to help. People were screaming. There was blood everywhere. It was a horrible scene.”
Fire department officials arrived and transported Perez to the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Perez underwent leg surgery while in the U.S. and is now recovering and receiving treatment at a hospital in Brazil, Normand says. The attorney adds that Perez’s medical bills have surpassed $100,000.
Now, the family has filed a lawsuit alleging that Universal knew the “design, manufacture, testing, construction and/or operation” of the ride “created an unreasonably dangerous ride.” The suit states that Perez was unable to read caution signs written in English because he speaks Portuguese.
Norman adds that the signs were not placed in areas that would have been clearly visible to the riders. The lawsuit states that the family is seeking $15,000 in damages, but Norman says the number could change as the family is still working to determine the extent of Perez’s injuries.