Boo! We’re sorry if we scared you

By The Madison County Record | Oct 10, 2013

Would you sue a restaurant because a meal exceeded your expectations? “This redfish bouillabaisse is superb! I’m appalled.”

Would you sue carpenters, plumbers, or electricians for work on your house that was too good? Or sue a mechanic who made your car run better than ever?

Nobody sues when they get more than they bargained for. Once in a while, a truly generous person may offer a little something extra, a tip or bonus, for a job well done, but he certainly doesn’t complain or go to court over it.

“You’re suing because you got too much for your money?” the judge inquires. “Bailiff, have the plaintiff committed for psychiatric evaluation. Case dismissed.”

Nevertheless, Terry Ganz sued American Legion Post 126, the City of Alton, et al. because his daughter Alexis got more than she bargained for.

Two years ago this month, Alexis went to the Legion’s haunted house in Alton, wanting and expecting to be scared. But she was over-frightened and allegedly hurt herself in panicked flight from pretend peril.

A haunted house actor, impersonating a homicidal maniac popular among horror film fans, chased her down a strobe-lit hallway brandishing a chainsaw.

In real life, that would be scary indeed. Even in simulated form, it could be disconcerting for some. Still, does anyone go to a haunted house during Halloween season without wanting and expecting to be scared?

No. Not unless you don’t really care for that sort of thing and you’ve been dragged there against your will or better judgment by a friend who doesn’t understand your trepidation.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge recently vacated the upcoming trial date and scheduled a case management conference instead. The conference is set for Oct. 30, the day before Halloween.

Judge Mudge might want to be careful. If Alexis was terrified by a make-believe madman at a haunted house, imagine how she might react to a robed magistrate in a courtroom full of lawyers. Now that’s scary!


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