A Man is Suing Six Flags After Getting Booted Off the Aquaman Ride for Not Having Hands

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Clint Bench was born with with a congenital deformity that prevented his arms from fully forming. That didn't stop him from going to college, getting married, having children or from riding roller coasters at Six Flags Over Texas. He's done pretty much all of them: Batman, the Texas Giant, the Flashback, you name it. His limbs had never been an issue. Not much is, actually: He can do pullups, fire a gun and go mountain biking, for Christ's sake.

Then, last May, he got on the Aquaman Splashdown ride, a Six Flags standby in which a boat plummets down a two-story decline before sending up a wall of water that soaks riders and the onlookers on the bridge below. It used to be called something generic before it was renamed for a second-tier DC Comics character.

There's nothing particularly dangerous about Aquaman compared with the amusement park's other attractions, certainly nothing Bench couldn't handle, but nevertheless, a Six Flag employee asked Bench to get off the ride.

ClintBenchLinkedIn.jpg
Clint Bench
"She told him that he could not ride Aquaman because he does not have hands," according to a lawsuit filed Bench filed yesterday. "This caused Mr. Bench considerable embarrassment, as his children had never seen anybody discriminate against him due to his lack of natural hands."

When he complained to management, he was told that Six Flags policy dictates that riders "must have at least one fully formed arm all the way down to the fingers."

But that wasn't exactly true, at least not until four months later, when Six Flags published an updated riders' guide explicitly stating that riders "must have one full arm" to ride Aquaman. The old policy said only that a rider has to be able to grasp, which Bench can do just fine.

Bench claims discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Six Flags doesn't, after all, kick people off rides who, "for extra thrill or in a silly display of bravado," keep their hands in the air.

Bench is asking for unspecified damages for suffering and mental anguish. And he still wants to ride Aquaman, goddammit.

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16 comments
asdddeew
asdddeew

Anyone can sue for anything they want.  Winning is a different story.

JustSaying
JustSaying

I dug Splashwater Falls when I was a kid because Six Flags didnt have mist sprayers all over the park back then so it was the fastest way to cool off on a 100 degree day. More importantly, it was the spot for impromptu wet t-shirt contests when some lady in a white shirt underestimated the wall of water that smashed into that bridge. Now I suppose it would be a great place for Chris Hanson to do a live show.

imagepimp
imagepimp

You'll always be "Splashwater Falls" to me, ride now arbitrarily known as "Aquaman Splashdown." FWIW, I can understand the "hand rationale" for the post-ride portion of Aquaman's adventure when you stand on the bridge and get drenched in E. coli water: they require you to hold onto the rail/fence so that you don't get driven back and injured. As for getting booted from the ride itself? Seems ti me that they were just being dicks.

Scott D Jones
Scott D Jones

The most they should be liable for is the cost of admission. Give him $30 and send him down the road. Six Flags should have advised him at the gate (but they didn't and they won't). They tried to put me out of the park once over my tattoos. I compromised with them by covering up, but when I asked the girl why they didn't say anything at the gate she told me they didn't have to. As a side note the offensive tattoo is the F-word and it is tiny. She however had no problem with the tattoo of a nude woman on my calf that spans from knee to ankle. Go figure....

Jason Darr
Jason Darr

" It's unfortunate that we often have to force people to see the error of discrimination through litigation, but it's still a reality in this country." Litigation is why they have policies like that in the first place.

Shannon Adolph
Shannon Adolph

Exactly. If 6F let him ride and he had been injured or killed, everyone would be screaming about why they let him on. SMH

Michael TruckMonth Ricker
Michael TruckMonth Ricker

Normally I might agree with the park, but this is not a super-dangerous ride (at least it's not in comparison to say, the Titan or some other actual coaster). And if the dude can grasp, he's probably got more strength than a lot of children do who ride this ride.

Dan Montenegro
Dan Montenegro

I guess this is better than the family suing over a dead man who couldnt hold off for dear life. your in the right 6F.

Liesl Beneke McQuillan
Liesl Beneke McQuillan

Good for him. It's unfortunate that we often have to force people to see the error of discrimination through litigation, but it's still a reality in this country.

David Norton
David Norton

Hope he wins. At the most make a extra "consent" form but if someone wants to do something, let them :)

mcdallas
mcdallas

He didn't miss much.  That ride has been terrible for years, even after they renamed it.  Unfortunately for him, he was embarrassed for no reason whatsoever.  

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

@mcdallas Well, it's the same damn ride, just with a different name. And I wouldn't say it's "terrible," insofar as it does its purpose, which is to get the riders/people standing on the bridge wet.

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