S. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. | A Luzerne County woman has sued the parent company of Dorney Park over hearing loss she claims was suffered at the amusement park’s Halloween attraction.
Attorneys representing Margaret A. Perugino, of Butler Township, filed a lawsuit last month in Lehigh County Court, alleging hearing loss in her right ear sustained during Halloween Haunt in September 2019.
Perugino was walking through an area known as “CarnEvil,” when a park employee dressed as a clown fired off an air cannon to her right, according to court records. She reportedly did not see the air cannon as it was at ground level in a dimly lit area surrounded by manmade fog, according to the complaint.
But the cannon was apparently close enough that Perugino felt the air from the cannon in her ear. She filed an incident report with the park and visited a doctor once home.
Perugino said her doctor referred her to an audiologist for testing that allegedly “revealed significant hearing loss” in her right ear. As of the filing of the lawsuit, Perugino said the hearing loss remains, and that doctors suspect it could be permanent.
The lawsuit alleges that Dorney Park should have been aware of the “proposed dangerous conditions” the attraction posed to visitors but “neglected to take appropriate action to protect its clientele from the dangerous and hazardous conditions.”
The lawsuit alleges a single count of negligence. In a sprawling list of grievances, attorneys for Perugino accuse Dorney Park of failing to properly train and supervise employees and properly inspect the area where she was allegedly injured. Dorney should have warned visitors about the air cannons and made them more conspicuous, according to the lawsuit.
Citing medical expenses and Perugino’s loss of happiness and “enjoyment of life,” the lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 along with interest and costs. She is demanding a jury trial.
In February 2019, the mother of a 15-year-old Lehigh County girl sued Dorney Park and its parent company, Cedar Fair, alleging her daughter was so scared during a 2017 visit to Haunt that she suffered traumatic injuries.
The lawsuit alleged that the teen told costumed employees that approached her and her friends that she didn’t want to be scared. The characters backed away, but one of them reportedly ran up behind her and yelled, causing her to fall.
The lawsuit alleged “severe, permanent and debilitating” injuries but did not detail the alleged injuries.
Court records show that the matter was “settled, discontinued and ended without prejudice,” meaning the case to be brought again. Records do not disclose any details of the settlement.
A spokesperson for Dorney Park declined to comment on the pending lawsuit or the settlement, citing a company policy to “not comment on litigation matters.”