A pre-trial hearing is scheduled 9 a.m. June 28 before Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge in a girl’s lawsuit over injuries she allegedly sustained from a tour at an Alton haunted house.

Madison County Chief Judge David Hylla on May 9 re-assigned the case to Mudge following the retirement of  Judge Ann Callis who left the bench in May to run for Congress.

In the lawsuit, the injured girl's father, Terry Gansz, claims his daughter had been chased by an employee of the haunted house with a motor driven chainsaw in a dimly lit area, containing trip hazards, illuminated by a distracting strobe light resulting in her tripping and falling on Oct. 29, 2011.

Gansz’s lawsuit also named American Legion Post 126, Steven Haug and Dennis Sharp as defendants.

Gansz stated,“the proximate cause of her fall and injury were a combination of conditions and activities which rendered the hazard decidedly neither open nor obvious” - in his response to defendant American Legion’s motion to dismiss.

He filed his response to the motion to dismiss April 29 through his attorney J. Robert Edmonds of Edwardsville.

Defendant American Legion had asserted the plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed because “as a matter of law, the conditions alleged were open and obvious.”

Gansz also stated American Legion had a duty to exercise reasonable care in the design operation and supervision of the haunted house. He also stated in his response to the motion to dismiss that “when someone voluntarily undertakes a duty, he or she must perform the duty with due care or with such competence and skill as a volunteer possesses.”

“The court must view the complaint in a light most favorable to the plaintiff and take as true all well-pleaded facts and all reasonable inferences from those facts,” according to Gansz’s response to the defense’ motion.

Defendant Haug on May 9 denied the lawsuit’s allegations.

James Craney and Charles Anderson of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith represent American Legion.

Michael Murphy of Freeark, Harvey & Mendillo in Belleville represents defendant Dennis Sharp.

Madison County case number 12-L-1756.

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