According to the suit, Hood told DeViney and City Park chief financial officer Kevin Cox that the Tilt-a-Whirl ride needed work performed by a dedicated hydraulic repair service, and recommended the Belle Chasse-based company Hydra Force. The suit says the executives cited "budgetary concerns" in denying the recommendation, and says DeViney told Hood he was instead hiring the Lacombe-based company Mardi Gras Decorators to perform the work. The suit says Hood objected, informing his superiors that Mardi Gras Decorators was not qualified to perform the hydraulic repairs, and that the ride would be in violation of state safety standards.These mini-trains will run on time. We don't care who we have to run over to get there.
"Nevertheless, DeViney and Cox insisted Mardi Gras be hired to perform the repairs," the suit says.
Next, the suit says, the braking system of the park's miniature train was discussed. Hood told his superiors that the train's current braking system did not comply with the newest National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials safety standards and needed to be replaced. The suit says DeViney and Cox refused, again citing budgetary concerns, and that Cox told Hood to "find a way around that" and to "do what you have to do" to make the ride operational.
Hood was fired nine weeks before an Easter Sunday incident at the amusement park, in which a 3-year-old boy hunting for Easter eggs wandered into the path of the miniature train, which was unable to stop before striking the child. The boy sustained serious lacerations to his legs and multiple abrasions to his body, according to the spokeswoman for New Orleans EMS. The lawsuit does not mention that incident or any others resulting in rider or spectator injuries at the park.