Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Amusement Park Liability Case

After a five-day jury trial in the US District Court for the District of Maryland in Greenbelt, Firm Principals David A. Skomba and Tamara B. Goorevitz, along with Firm Associate Jessica B. Pupkin, obtained a defense judgment in favor of Six Flags America on November 5, 2023.

The case, Balchi v. Six Flags America LP, involved a serious multi-ligamentous knee and related peroneal nerve injury incurred on a water attraction in Hurricane Harbor that resulted in several surgeries and over $100,000 in past medical expenses.  The plaintiff was forced to concede that the ride itself was safe but argued that he was not properly warned/instructed how to ride.  Six Flags was able to show, using the expert testimony of nationally recognized biomechanical engineer Douglas Morr of SEA, that the accident could not have happened unless the plaintiff failed to follow the ride instructions that he conceded were given to him.  The jury agreed, and after several hours of deliberations, returned a defense verdict in favor of the Park.

The plaintiff argued that the jury should award some $815,000 in damages in closing.  Six Flags trusted F&P’s recommendation that the matter, a classic “high damages, low liability” case, should be tried and that trust resulted in the defense verdict and judgment.

“Best Law Firms” Awards F&P Metropolitan Tier 1 Ranking

Best Lawyers publicly announced their 2024 “Best Law Firms®” rankings, including Franklin & Prokopik as a recognized firm for the sixth consecutive year. We received multiple Metropolitan Tier 1 rankings for Workers’ Compensation Law and will be featured in the 14th edition of the Best Law Firms® publication, distributed to 30,000 C-Suite and in-house counsel.

A firm must have at least one lawyer currently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America to be eligible. The recipient must practice in a Best Law Firms practice area and jurisdiction. The research process includes client and professional references, firm information, lawyer evaluations, and industry leader interviews. This year, “Best Law Firms” had record-breaking participation, receiving more than 23,000 lawyer evaluations and almost 100,000 client references reviewed.

F&P is pleased to be recognized in the following areas:

  • Metropolitan Tier 1
    • Baltimore
      • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
    • Washington, D.C.
      • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
  • Metropolitan Tier 2
    • Baltimore
      • Litigation – Insurance
  • Metropolitan Tier 3
    • Baltimore
      • Construction Law
      • Litigation – Construction


Debuted in 2010, Best Law Firms® is the most credible rankings of exceptional law firms, rooted in a rigorous, peer-to-peer, industry-driven evaluation. Achieving a tiered ranking in Best Law Firms signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Ranked firms, presented in three tiers, are recognized on a national and metro-based scale.

To learn more about these rankings, please visit https://bestlawfirms.com.