Griffin v. Haunted Hotel, Inc. Pt. 1
Personal Injury Lawyers | In personal injury cases, it’s essential to prove defendant owed a duty to plaintiff, that duty was breached and the breach caused the injury.
What many plaintiffs don’t realize is that they too owe a duty of care – to themselves. They have to take reasonable measures to protect themselves from known or knowable hazards, or else risk forfeiting the right to recover damages for it.
Thus, a key defense in these cases is the “assumption of risk.” The assumption of risk doctrine holds plaintiff knew of a dangerous condition and voluntarily exposed himself or herself to it.
This was the defense used in Griffin v. Haunted Hotel, Inc., before the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One.
According to court records, plaintiff purchased a ticket to experience an outdoor haunted house, which involved actors popping out of dark spaces, just inches from patrons. Actors wield knives, chainsaws, axes and severed body parts. There were also strobe lights, eerie music and actors who frequently chase patrons who run away. An audio tape played to patrons before the attraction warned of this possibility, and stated the biggest cause of minor injuries was running away. Patrons were warned not to run, and to take note of uneven ground with tree roots, rocks, etc.
Plaintiff, who was with friends, passed what he thought was the exit and was distracted with laughter among friends when the group was unexpectedly confronted with a final scare. An actor was holding a gas-powered chainsaw (however, the chain had been removed), and revved it as he approached the group.
The actor started to chase the plaintiff, who ran in fear. As he was fleeing, plaintiff fell and was injured as a result. –injury lawyer Florida
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