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September 12, 1999

Two Lawsuits Filed Against Paramount's Great America

Santa Clara, CA -- Two suits have been filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, seeking damages against Paramount's Great America for the September 7, 1998 accident which killed 24-year-old Renato Suarez.

The first suit filed by the wife and brother-in-law of Suarez seeks more than $1-million in damages. The two are accusing the park of failing to take proper safety precautions, including securing the area where the accident occurred.

Suarez was killed after he hopped a fence and entered an off limits area. According to the park he was trying to retrieve a lost hat, when the train suddenly flew by and the leg of a rider struck him in the head.

The train on the Top Gun roller coaster travels at speeds of up to 50 mph.

The rider, whose leg struck Suarez, also filed suit last week for unspecified damages against the park and the Suarez family. She is seeking compensation for lost wages and medical costs for her broken leg.