Girl chased at haunted house with chainsaw sues Alton, American Legion

A girl who was allegedly chased a year ago through an Alton haunted house with a loud motor driven chainsaw is suing the American Legion Post 126 and the City of Alton.

The girl's father, Terry Gansz, claims the haunted house tour included a section where patrons were directed through a walled passage leading to a ramp with an entry to the rear of a haunted bus. A strobe light was fixed to the rear of the haunted bus, directed downward into the walled passage, which was dimly lit, according to the lawsuit.

At the bottom of the ramp, leading to the back of the haunted bus, the girl fell and struck her face violently against the ramp, the complaint states.

The alleged incident occurred on Oct. 29, 2011, at the house located at 1211 Henry Street.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 26 in Madison County Circuit Court.

It was American Legion’s duty through its agents and volunteers to exercise care for the safety of others in the design, operation and supervision of the haunted house attraction, the suit states.

American Legion is responsible for permitting its agents and volunteers to operate a loud motor-driven chainsaw, while running and chasing patrons in a confined area, containing trip hazards, illuminated by a disorienting strobe light, the lawsuit stated.

American Legion is also being blamed for its design of the exterior of a haunted house attraction, which directed patrons through a dimly lit walled passage with trip hazards, illuminated by a disorienting strobe light, making it difficult for patrons to observe the entrance ramp at the rear of the haunted bus.

Dennis Sharp and Steven Haug who organized, designed and supervised the haunted house attraction, are also named in the lawsuit.

The plaintiff seeks in excess of $50,000.

J. Robert Edmonds of Alton represents the plaintiff.

The case was assigned Oct. 29 to Madison County Circuit Judge Ann Callis.

Madison County Case number 12-L-1756.

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