The Little Engine That Could- Do More Damage Than You Think: Rocky’s Investigations Reveal that Amusement Tram Ride at McKendree Village Lacked Permit, Licensure and Insurance

On May 14, 2015, 12 elderly residents of the McKendree Village Assisted Living Facility in Hermitage, Tennessee boarded a novelty train under the assumption that it was safe. Many residents, like Betty Fields, who got on the tram that day, often look forward to these McKendree sponsored activities and was excited to take the nice little ride around the complex on a bright sunny day.  Surely, she couldn’t have anticipated what was about to happen next…

Later that day, local news station coverage began to flood the Nashville airwaves with reports of the little tram, which consisted of a modified lawn mower and 3 passenger carts towed behind it, had flipped over while coming down a hill on the McKendree property.  Eight (8) of the twelve (12) passengers were toppled out onto the sidewalk, some with their arms and legs caught and unable to free themselves from the over-turned cart.  Betty Fields was one of the victims.  Before the wreck, Betty was the picture of health for 83-years old.  When she was ejected from the tram, she hit her head on the pavement and broke her pelvis in 5 places.  She was transported by ambulance to Summit Medical Center and from there to Skyline Medical Center.  She had internal bleeding and needed two blood transfusions.   Frantic over what had happened and not knowing what to do next, Betty and her family called Rocky.  He came right out to the hospital to meet Betty and her family.

While Betty was doing her best to endure a month-long stay at a rehab facility, Rocky and his team were working on digging up the details on the company McKendree Village hired to show these seniors a good time. We were able to quickly uncover that Active Entertainment, which has since closed up shop, was not properly licensed to conduct business in Tennessee, did not have a permit to operate the “ride” and was also not insured.   Discovering this information meant only one thing:  that Betty’s beloved McKendree Village had not done its due diligence in vetting the amusement company and negligently hired a company that put eight (8) very vulnerable people in harm’s way.  “McKendree jeopardized the health and safety of these residents by failing to do a proper investigation, by failing to hire a safe company,” Rocky told Alanna Autler of WSMV Channel 4 Nashville News in his August 20 interview.

Rocky intends to file a lawsuit against McKendree if the facility doesn’t take responsibility for hurting these individuals who gave them their trust that day. For the once active Betty Fields, it hurts to look back and think how she underestimated the damage the little train could do. “This train could maybe only go just about as fast as I could walk, so you didn’t think it was going to be a problem.”  She issues an eerie warning to both children and grown folks alike to think before they ride…”I don’t care what age you are, you just got to be careful—I thought I was so careful though.”

If you ever have questions about whether a certain Tennessee company has a proper license or permit you can start by asking the Tennessee Secretary of State or the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  And if you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to amusement ride malfunction, accident, or negligence of its operators, call the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm.  You may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost time at work.  We can do the necessary investigation to determine the validity of your claim.  We have the right experience and have earned the best reputation by fighting for injury victims across Tennessee and the Southeast for over 15 years.  Don’t leave money on the table or let justice go unserved.  Call 615-425-2500 today.

For the full news story on this case click here.