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Ride builder sues Univeral Orlando over claims it's owed $5 million for work on Jimmy Fallon attraction

A 64-page lawsuit details years of back-and-forth between the two companies.
Credit: AP

ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal Orlando is being sued over alleged "outstanding invoices" the ride manufacturer, originally hired for its “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" attraction, says it is due.

The lawsuit filed in Orange County court on March 27 by Dynamic Motion Rides against Universal for business malpractice claims the Austrian-based company is owed $5 million regarding the ride.

A 64-page complaint details a lengthy back-and-forth between the two companies that dates back to 2013. 

According to the lawsuit, Dymorides, as referred to in court documents, was contacted to design and construct a flying attraction only titled "Project 301."

But the company says roughly one month before the end of the concept design phase Universal stopped the project. 

But that wasn't the end of the line for the two companies working together.

In 2014, Dymorides says Universal contacted them to work on the Jimmy Fallon ride but was met with adjustments and "at least seven change orders" during the scope of its work for the Orlando theme park.

One of those changes was a major point of contention as the lawsuit states Universal wanted to increase the ride car from 60 to 72 riders which established "a world record payload of 24 tons, the highest payload worldwide for an all-electric 3 DOF Motion System."

According to the lawsuit, the change meant a 2-3 percent increase in price and delays to the project's "critical path." But the problems allegedly did not stop there. 

The Austrian-based company claims Universal understaffed its project and that there was a "profound lack of communication" between Universal's engineers and creative team. 

Then on Sept. 24, 2014, the lawsuit states Universal rescheduled the entire project and delayed opening by one year without direct explanation to Dymorides.

There was also the matter of changes to the ride platform and the type of restraint system it would use, according to court documents. 

Dymorides says all changes allegedly made during the course of work left them dealing with unpaid bills. 

The manufacturer was later terminated in 2015, partly due to "failure to complete the Scope of Work and failure to comply with written directions and prior Notices of NonCompliance," according to the lawsuit.

Two letters were said to have been sent to Universal protesting the termination, which was described as "improper" in court documents. 

"Universal was deficient in multiple areas that would cause delays which would be on the account of Universal," the lawsuit states.

Dymorides also takes issue with Petersen, Inc., the company hired to take over the project since Petersen took public credit for "the development and construction of the Attractions which employs Dymorides IP to this day," according to court documents.

All in all, Dymorides says the $5 million will cover "unpaid invoices," and six-percent interest since termination in 2015. 

In addition to the funds, court documents show the company is seeking a jury trial, permanent injunction, and unspecified damages.

A mediation reached an impasse on March 17 before the lawsuit was filed. Moving forward, a case management conference has been set for June 25 between the two parties.

Universal's “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" opened in 2017.

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