Park guest sues Universal Orlando after fight breaks out over a stroller

in Entertainment, Islands of Adventure, Marvel, ParkSpotting, Theme Parks, Travel, Universal Orlando

Universal's Islands of Adventure

Credit: Universal Orlando

A tourist from Connecticut who visited Universal Orlando in 2017 is suing the company after he fought a teenager from Florida in a brawl that began over a stroller at Islands of Adventure.

John Matava, then 53, claims in his lawsuit he filed last month that he had been “violently attacked by a belligerent, intoxicated male,” and is currently seeking more than $15,000 for the 2017 incident in Orange Circuit Court.

“It was the worst experience we’ve ever had in our life,” said Matava to Orlando Sentinel.

According to the lawsuit, Matava claims Universal did not have proper surveillance or security that could have kept his family safe. Additionally, he also is accusing the theme parks of not checking IDs when serving alcohol to minors, according to the lawsuit.

However, in the Orlando police department’s investigation of the incident, they found that both sides were “mutual combats,” and no one was charged with a crime after police watched video surveillance.

In response to the Orlando police department’s ruling on the situation, Matava claimed that “the whole police report is a lie,” and he says he was discriminated against because he is from out of state. “There [were] no video cameras,” says Matava.

Universal's Islands of Adventure
Credit: Universal Orlando

The fight began after Matava’s wife, Jennifer, pushed their grandson in a stroller in the arcade and complained people wouldn’t step aside. That’s when the 19-year-old Florida man overheard her, confronted her husband and punched him in the face, she said, according to the police report.

When Orlando police officers arrived at the arcade, they noticed Matava’s bloody nose and an injury on his left eyebrow. His wife and the teenager he fought both had minor injuries as well.

The teenager claims Jennifer Matava swore as she demanded people to move, according to the police report. He suggested she ask in a nicer demeanor, which he said led to John Matava starting a fight with him.

Video of the event shows the teenager saying something to Matava, which led to Matava sticking his face in front of the teen’s and chest-bumping him. The teenager then punched him and the fight broke out. Jennifer tried to stop them. However, she got hit with one of the teenager’s punches inadvertently during the altercation. This caused the 19-year-old to step back but then Matava continued the brawl until the two men were separated.

Not only were both parties found at fault, but the teen was also issued a trespass warning from Universal.

Source: Orlando Sentinel


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    As a Florida resident that frequents universal this guy is a douche. I’ve seen plenty of inconsiderate guests so things like demand people move for a stroller and I applaud the teen. I myself have “dealt” with people like this and his cries of not enough cameras is just because he lost the fight.

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      Check out John Matava’s recent arrests in CT – believe his story now? And why did he wait until 2019 to file a suit for a 2017 incident? Money troubles, John? Companies defending against stuff like this makes everything more expensive.

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    Yes, yes! Declare the police report. A sworn civil document, is a lie. Good Luck with that approach moron.

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    Excuse me but WHY THE F*** is this the parks fault?

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      The police makes no mention of the teen being intoxicated. If he had been in fact drunk. Then Universal may have some explaing to do since they check bags at the entrance.

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      Simple … because they have the deepest pockets and lawyers (most, but not all) are bottom feeding garbage who only care about how much money they can screw someone or some company out of.

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    He probably paid for his universal vacation with all the money he stole from insurance fraud

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    Matava’s wife was simply being obnoxious and rude to people as she demanded they make room for her to pass and intentionally hit someone with the stroller, or came close to it. The teen (rightfully) responded to her behavior verbally and then Matava stepped in to be the “big man” to “teach the teen a lesson.” Matava got more than he bargained for when the teen clocked him in the nose. Now his ego is bruised and he wants somebody to pay, so he sues Universal Studios. Puh-leez. Hopefully this case gets thrown out with the trash, and hopefully the Matavas learn that you catch more bees with honey, not vinegar.

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    Why is universal responsible for this? People need to stop crying about the small stuff and they are so sue happy

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      Total BS. My family has been to universal A LOT!. We are from out of town and have never felt “discriminated” against. They have always been Very strict about carding. My husband who is in his 40s and looks well over 21 gets carded every time and even given a limit of 1 drink when trying to purchase a decent sized mixed drink in the Summer, so I call BS on that. Sounds like tough guy got what he deserved trying to be bad ass getting in the guys faceand chest bumping him…he picked the wrong one that day…lol. People can be very rude with their giant Strollers I have witnessed it myself.

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    It seems that the man started the fight. I am sure the wife was upset when people didn’t move for the stroller (which got her angry) but they knew that could happen, there is too many people in the park! I’m sure the wife said something which caused the incident and the husband continued to finish the argument!!!! Now he saw $$$

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    All this dude is getting from this is a ton of legal fees. There’s video evidence that his claim is false. What an entitled prick.

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    Maybe Universal should ban strollers as well. Cant stand idiots pushing giant battleships through the crowds demanding they have then right of way.

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    If this was the worst day of their lives they are some lucky people!

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    As a Florida resident and Universal annual pasholder, them not checking IDs is bull. I’m almost 30 and I still get carded every time. He’s just being a jerk.

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