Belleville attorney to represent Alton in haunted house lawsuit

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Nov 20, 2012

Charles Pierce

Belleville attorney Charles Pierce entered his appearance for a defendant in a lawsuit filed by a girl who was allegedly chased through an Alton haunted house with a chainsaw.

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.

The father is suing American Legion Post 126 and the City of Alton.

Pierce will represent the city.

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.

American Legion is 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, the suit claims.

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

Walter Owczarzek, secretary of American Legion Post # 126, Haug, of East Alton, Mary Boulds, city clerk of Alton, and Dennis Sharp, of Wood River, were each served a summons and complaint, according to a Nov. 13 document filed in Madison County Circuit Court.

The City of Alton filed a demand for jury trial Nov. 16.

Madison County Case number 12-L-1756.

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