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Family files lawsuit over mechanical bull ride injuries

Posted at 4:18 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 19:24:27-04

A woman and her family are filing a lawsuit in Santa Barbara County against several companies after she says she suffered life-altering injuries from a mechanical bull ride.

Sarah Mondedero is claiming negligence, loss of consortium, strict product liability, and negligent hiring, retention, training and supervision of employees in the lawsuit against Tortoro Enterprises, Inc., 37th District Agricultural Association, and Galaxy America, Inc.

Tortoro Enterprises owns the mechanical bull involved, the 37th District Agricultural Association owns the Santa Maria Fairpark where the incident took place, and Galaxy America manufactured and sold the ride, according to the lawsuit.

The filing states Mondedero and her family were attending an event at the Santa Maria Fairpark on June 28, 2018, when she decided to try out the mechanical bull ride.

According to the lawsuit, she did not sign a waiver before the ride.

During the ride, the lawsuit says Mondedero fell over the top of the mechanical bull and landed on her neck. It says the injury left her a quadriplegic.

As a result, the lawsuit says Mondedero is no longer able to perform the duties of a wife and mother and she and her family suffered other physical, psychological and financial losses due to the incident.

The Mondedero family claims the 37th District Agricultural Association was negligent in hiring Tortoro and that Tortoro was negligent in the inspection and operation of the bull ride, including hiring and training the employee involved.

The lawsuit also claims Tortoro and Galaxy America are responsible for the defective design and manufacturing of the bull ride.

The family is asking for a jury trial and is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including compensation for loss of earnings and costs from the case.

When asked about the lawsuit, Santa Maria Fairpark CEO Richard Persons issued the following statement: “Santa Maria Fairpark officials are aware that a woman has filed a lawsuit against a number of respondents regarding an injury which she said occurred while she was attending an event at the Fairpark in June of 2018. The suit has been forwarded to legal counsel. Upon the advice of counsel, the Fairpark will have no further statement in this matter.”

Attorney Ted Mechtenberg, who represents the Mondedero family, told KSBY he has no comment about the lawsuit.

KSBY also reached out to the other defendants in this case for comment but has not yet received a response.