Dollywood faces lawsuit concerning fallen tree branch

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – A lawsuit was filed against Dollywood over an incident that occurred a year ago.

The lawsuit claims three East Tennessee residents were visiting the park on May 2, 2015. Lea Garcia, and Heather Carter and her daughter were eating Dippin’ Dots while sitting near a tree behind Kodak’s ‘Ole Time Flashbulb Photos.” The plaintiffs claim a tree branch fell without warning causing injuries.

The plaintiffs are asking Dollywood to repay them for damages. Garcia is suing for $900,000. Carter is suing for $750,000 and $200,000 on the behalf of her daughter. The lawsuit claims Garcia and Carter lost pay because of their injuries. Also, they claim their injuries have impacted their ability to earn an income in the future, enjoy life and do daily activities. Carter claims the incident has caused her “loss of services” for her child.

Garcia and Carter believe Dollywood knew of the state of the tree. Asphalt, concrete paving and a wooden deck were placed around trees for tables and benches. The lawsuit claims paving and decking were placed on or around tree root systems. The plaintiffs believe the paving and decking impacted the tree in receiving water and nutrients. Also, they claim the deck’s support system was constructed near the tree.

The lawsuit says Dollywood should have known the tree was damaged because of construction. The plaintiff claim there were removed or dead limbs visible on the day of the event and beforehand.

WATE 6 On Your Side reached out to the amusement park. A spokesperson for Dollywood said the business is aware of the lawsuit and are investigating the allegations. Dollywood plans to file a response with the court.

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