Top 5 Halloween Lawsuits

Dogs and cats sitting side by side dressed up in cute Halloween costumes with white background

Fall is in the air.

There’s a witch sitting in a rocking chair on a porch. 

Skeletons and zombies are sprawled across the front lawns.

Huge spiderwebs and bats are covering walkways.

It must be time for Halloween.  ***If not, you may want to find yourself a realtor ASAP*

Halloween Lawsuits 

As we have mentioned on Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day; when there’s a holiday, there’s lawsuits.

As a premier New Jersey personal injury law firm, we at Mintz & Geftic have been representing the injured victims of work accidents, car and truck accidents and construction accidents for over 30 years.

Our clients are suffering from serious, and at times, catastrophic injuries. They are in a lot of pain, dealing with numerous hardships and have put their trust in us to fight on their behalf.

Are each of the lawsuits below as worthy as those we file for our seriously injured clients? Well, you be the judge:

1. Haunted House Too Haunted? – Deborah Mays v. Gretna Athletic Boosters Inc

A haunted house being too scary?  Some Seinfeld fans might be thinking back to the clip below and thinking “they’re supposed to be scary!”

On the night of October 29, 1999, Deborah Mays entered a dark Louisiana haunted house. The haunted house was operated by the defendant to raise money for local athletic programs.

Mays, the plaintiff, testified that someone jumped out at her inside the haunted house and yelled. She was frightened and began to run, unfortunately running directly into a visqueen-covered cinder block wall. Mays suffered a broken nose from running into the wall and required two surgeries to repair the injury.

In the lawsuit, she argued that covering a cinder block wall with black visqueen in a dark haunted house is an unreasonable dangerous condition.

The court ruled as followed:

“The very nature of a Halloween haunted house is to frighten its patrons. In order to get the proper effect, haunted houses are dark and contain scary and/or shocking exhibits. Patrons in a Halloween haunted house are expected to be surprised, startled and scared by the exhibits but the operator does not have a duty to guard against patrons reacting in bizarre, frightened and unpredictable ways. Operators are duty bound to protect patrons only from unreasonably dangerous conditions, not from every conceivable danger.” (Coverage Opinions,Vol. 4, Iss. 10)

2. Tombstones Messages Too Personal? – Salama v. Deaton

In 2009, Ellen Salama, a woman in Riverview, FL filed a lawsuit against her neighbor, Kristy Elizabeth Deaton. In the lawsuit, Salama alleged that she was the victim of constant harassment, saying that she had feared for her life.

As evidence, Salama referred to the Halloween display that her neighbor had put up that year. Specifically, messages written on the tombstones.

One read, ““At 48 she had no mate no date. It’s no debate she looked 88. She met her fate in a crate. Now we celebrate. 1961-2009.”

Another stated, “Paranoia will destroy ya. Ima crazy zee. 1961-2009.”

Salama was 48-years old and single at the time and claimed the tombstones were directed at her. 

3. Goin’ Bananas – Rasta Imposta v. Kangaroo Manufacturing

Rasta Imposta, a maker of Halloween costumes, sued a former distributor, Kangaroo Manufacturing. The copyright infringement lawsuit from 2017 alleged that the former distributor was peddling bogus banana costumes. 

The lawsuit took place in a federal court in Camden, New Jersey. When unpeeling some of the case records, there was more than a few humorous points that came up.

During a hearing, the federal judge Noel L. Hillman was heard uttering phrases like “bananafest” and “bananapalooza.”  Later he pondered “whether the founding fathers had banana costumes in mind” when they drafted the Constitution. 

The judge’s ruling? You guessed it…a split decision

4. Mary, Her Little Lamb and a Cigarette – Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson Products Inc.

Plaintiffs Susan and Frank Ferlito, husband and wife, attended a Halloween party in 1984 dressed as Mary and her little lamb.

Mrs. Ferlito had constructed a lamb costume for her husband by gluing cotton balls manufactured by defendant Johnson & Johnson Products to a suit of long underwear. She had also used the cotton balls to fashion a headpiece, complete with ears.

During the party Mr. Ferlito attempted to light his cigarette by using a butane lighter. The flame passed close to his left arm, and the cotton on his left sleeve ignited. Burns covered approximately one-third of Mr. Ferlito’s body.

The Ferlito’s sued Johnson & Johnson for the severe burns and related injuries in a product liability lawsuit. They argued that a warning on the package would have prevented the accident.

A jury decided that the couple was 50 percent at fault and initially awarded them $625,000. On appeal, the verdict was set aside. The court noted that cotton is “a simple product with all its essential characteristics apparent, including flammability.”

5. Cosmetic contacts – more than meets the eye

How cool is it to add some crazy colored eyes to your Halloween costume? Well, it turns out, not very cool at all for a lot of people.

Cosmetic contact lenses have lead to a number of lawsuits for retailers over the years due to people suffering from eye injuries. 

The FDA has warned consumers about the risks. According to their site, these risks include:

  • A cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (Corneal Abrasion)
  • Allergic reactions like itchy, watery red eyes
  • Decreased vision
  • Infection
  • Blindness

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

MINTZ & GEFTIC – New Jersey Injury Lawyers

All personal injury lawsuits require NO FEE unless we are successful in securing you a recovery to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering. 

We give personal attention to all of our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured while working or involved in any type of accident, call the best New Jersey lawyers today at 908-352-2323.

If you were injured in a car or truck accident call us today at 908-352-2323. If you prefer contacting our injury lawyers via email, please click here. 

If you were involved in an accident as an Uber passenger or Lyft passenger, you have rights. Call our Uber Accident Lawyers today to discuss your case at 908-352-2323.

Our Injury lawyers have offices in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Short Hills, New Jersey and in New York City.

We represent clients suffering with spinal cord injury, back injury, burn injury, broken bones and traumatic brain injury. 

Do you have questions surrounding the coronavirus and the law? Were you injured at work during the Covid-19 pandemic and now out of a job? Covid-19 laws have been introduced as the coronavirus pandemic unfortunately continues. We are here to discuss your legal questions surrounding Covid-19 and the coronavirus pandemic.

We are always available for a free consultation. Call our personal injury lawyers today.

If you are enduring physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, permanent disability, disfigurement, lost wages, medical expenses or any other hardship resulting from an accident please contact us today for a free consultation. 

Our injury lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey. This includes the cities of Newark, Elizabeth, Union, Short Hills, Millburn, Livingston and Jersey City. We cover Morris, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union and Middlesex counties.

sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/nyregion/banana-costume-lawsuit.html

https://www.leagle.com/decision/1991967771fsupp1961920

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/la-court-of-appeal/1001875.html

http://www.nysba.org/

https://www.coverageopinions.info/Vol2Issue20/FromBoo.html 

FDA.gov

video clip from Yarn

 

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