Parties in water ride lawsuit argue over proper venue

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jul 10, 2013

GALVESTON - The parties in a lawsuit arising from a 2011 incident at a Galveston water park are at odds over which jurisdiction should handle the litigation.

Magnolia resident Naseem Akhter is suing ride attendant Joel Scott Hargrove and his parents for injuries she allegedly sustained at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark on May 14, 2011.

Meanwhile, the defendants requested Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves to transfer the case to Comal County.

Akhter objects to the motion on grounds the Hargroves failed to prove "it would be an economic or personal hardship" for them to maintain the suit in Galveston County.

She additionally counters that more than 200 miles which separate Galveston and Comal Counties present a hardship.

She insists the suit stays in Galveston County.

According to Akhter's original petition, Joel Hargrove was assigned to the Torrent water slide and had the responsibility of ensuring riders were properly secured, but alleges he failed to do so with her.

She claims she went backwards down the water ride, hitting the plastic guide tubes during the course of the ride and then striking the concrete landing area at the end.

The suit claims Akhter suffered severe back and neck injuries which required medical treatment and still affect her to this day.

Attorney Jonathan H. Hull of Reagan Burrus in New Braunfels is representing the respondents.

Case No. 13-CV-654

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