Dolly Parton's Dollywood Sued Over Fall, Brain Injury

By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 23, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Dolly Parton may be closer to a "Hard Candy Christmas" after dealing with a recent injury suit over Dollywood.

Tedi and Derryl Brown had a not-so-great time at the Tennessee-based, Parton-themed amusement park, especially after Tedi fell from a ride suffering broken bones and brain damage. TMZ reports that the couple is suing the park for $475,000 in damages.

Is something rotten in Dollywood?

Wet Weather Turned Swing Ride Dangerous

The Browns claim that they were riding on the Waltzing Swinger ride at Dollywood when Tedi fell 10 feet to the concrete below. According to Dollywood's website, the Waltzing Swinger actually reaches 25 feet above the ground, and is subject to closure during "inclement weather conditions."

Perhaps the operators working the day of Tedi's injury hadn't perused the park's website, because the weather was less than ideal. According to TMZ, the Browns allege that the park ignored the wet weather, and "the slick conditions turned the ride into a death trap." Park operators and employees aren't expected to control the weather, but they are expected to operate rides and attractions in a non-negligent fashion.

Parton and Dollywood's Potential Liability

It's a good thing that Parton has been working at least from "9 to 5" her whole life, because the Browns' suit isn't going to be cheap. Parton owns Dollywood along with Herschend Family Entertainment, a private theme-park company that operates a handful of amusement parks. Even though it may have been the operator of the Waltzing Swinger's poor call to operate the ride in the rain, Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment may be liable for his or her negligence.

The Browns may also claim that Tedi's injuries were the result of negligent supervision, training, hiring, or retention of the employee(s) responsible for the swing ride. We're assuming that someone of Parton's stature would have commercial liability insurance on something as risky as a theme park, so Dollywood will likely just settle with the Browns.

For their next vacation, the Browns might want to consider something with lower impact. Maybe Graceland?

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