Defense says plaintiff in haunted house lawsuit is suing for what she paid to enjoy

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Jan 7, 2013

Defense attorney Russell Scott is arguing that a lawsuit over a girl’s injuries at an Alton haunted house should be dismissed.

A hearing on Scott’s motion to dismiss Steven Haug from a personal injury suit is set for Jan. 18.

The plaintiffs argue that Haug, who organized, designed and supervised the haunted house, had a duty to protect the plaintiff against allegedly unsafe activities on the premises.

“However, the activities provided in the plaintiff’s complaint merely summarize the very characteristics shared by each and every haunted house attraction in existence,” the motion to dismiss states.

“As provided, plaintiff alleges her injuries arose from the fact that she was chased, outside in the dark, in an area with a strobe light, by a worker wielding a fake chainsaw. In short, plaintiffs would have this court believe that Steven Haug owed plaintiff a duty to protect not only known or obvious haunted house activities, but the very amusement activities which she paid money to experience,” according to the Dec. 31 motion to dismiss.

The girl’s father, Terry Ganz, 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 plaintiff alleges the girl’s injuries resulted after she was chased by a worker wielding a fake chainsaw.

Ganz’s lawsuit was filed Oct. 26 in Madison County Circuit Court against American Legion Post 126 and the City of Alton.

The alleged incident was on Oct. 29, 2011.

Dayna Johnson of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale also represents Haug.

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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