Despite the settlement of the lawsuit, language in the final legal paperwork states that the state is compromising a “doubtful and disputed claim.”
But Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino said it is routine for defendants to deny liability, even as they are paying a significant amount of money to get out of a lawsuit.
In fact, the state wasn’t even named as a defendant in the lawsuit until the inspector general released his report, a document that included statements from fire marshal’s own investigators that the state faced some liability.
One of those investigators, Donald Carter, submitted a letter through his attorney stating that he tried to tell Browning the night of the accident about mechanical issues overlooked by the state inspector.
“Mr. Carter wishes to emphasize his disclosure to Mr. Browning, on the night of the accident, of the identified mechanical defects in the Zipper amusement ride,” attorney Mark Falcon wrote. “Additionally, be advised that Mr. Carter was told by Mr. Browning to limit the scope of his investigative report solely to the substance of the interviews conducted by him that night.”