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December 7, 2005

City Not Liable For Demolished Landmark Roller Coaster

Brooklyn, NY -- A federal appeals court rejected claims that New York City should pay $3 million to reconstruct the classic Thunderbolt wooden coaster at Coney Island. The roller coaster was demolished by city work crews five years ago after the city's building department concluded it was in danger of collapse.

Lawyers representing the owner of the Thunderbolt roller coaster argued that the city did not give them a chance to challenge the demolition order. A jury agreed, but a judge overturned the verdict. The judge concluded it wasn't the city's fault that a notification letter went to the wrong address.

The lower court ruling was upheld Monday by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The plaintiffs were asking the court to order the city to pay for the reconstruction of the Thunderbolt roller coaster.

The Thunderbolt roller coaster designed by John Miller operated from 1925 to 1982. After ceasing operation it sat for 17 years in a state of decay until it met its fate on November 17, 2000. The neighboring Cyclone roller coaster is the only roller coaster left today at Coney Island.

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