Girl injured in Alton haunted house settles with some defendants

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 1, 2014


Settlements have been reached in a lawsuit alleging a minor girl was injured in an Alton haunted house tour.

According to the complaint, Terry Gansz, father of Alexis Gansz, claims his daughter was injured after being chased by a haunted house actor wielding a motor driven chainsaw in a dimly lit area, containing trip hazards and distracting strobe lights on Oct. 29, 2011.

The City of Alton, American Legion Post 126, Steven Haug and Dennis Sharp were all named as defendants.

On April 8, Haug filed a motion for finding of good faith settlement through attorneys Russell K. Scott and Dayna L. Johnson of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale in Belleville.

“Considering the totality of the circumstances, the questionable liability, the questionable damages in this case and the adequacy of the amount, the defendant believes that said settlement is in good faith and should be approved by the court,” the motion states.

Haug claims the matter has been resolved with the plaintiffs “in good faith” and requests all additional counterclaims or otherwise brought against him be barred according to the Illinois Joint Tortfeassor Contribution Act.

The settlement is only between Haug and the plaintiffs and does not include any other defendants, the motion clarifies.

Then on April 15, Sharp field a separate motion for finding of good faith settlement through attorney Michael P. Murphy of Freeark, Harvey & Mendilo in Belleville, with the same settlement claims as Haug.

The claimants also filed an agreed stipulation for dismissal, dismissing The City of Alton. Each party was directed to bear their own costs.

As a result of the settlement and dismissal requests, Circuit Judge William Mudge filed an order striking the Aug. 11 jury trial and Aug. 7 pre-trial setting.

J. Robert Edmonds in Edwardsville represents the plaintiffs.

Charles Anderson and James Craney represent American Legion Post 126.

Belleville attorney Charles Pierce represents the City of Alton.

Madison County case number 12-L-1756

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