Park News

Park Law by Heather M. Eichenbaum, Esq. Litigation Forum Selection Clauses

itigation against your park is inevitable in today’s society. With visitors from all over the world, you can potentially be sued in an endless number of courts from your local court to one thousands of miles away. Yet, where your park can be sued, and subject to the jurisdiction of the Court, is of particular significance for a number of reasons. These include the costs and inconveniences associated with defending yourself in a distant forum and the lack of “hometown advantage” that you typically have in your park’s locale when you are forced to defend yourself in a remote venue. In addition, when defending your park in a distant forum, you are less likely to know your defense attorney and the traditions or protocols of that unfamiliar court. Fortunately, in many venues, you can exercise control over where lawsuits can


be brought, or at least can be allowed to proceed, against your park. Customarily, a business must be found to have sufficient “contacts” with a venue to be subject to the jurisdiction of the court in that venue. However, with the proliferation of online business, plaintiffs’ attorneys have broadened the arguments for what “contacts” suffice to warrant hauling you into their venue. In recent years, an “interactive” website – where a customer or patron can transact business online with a park or property has, at times, been held sufficient to establish those “contacts” that allow a court to preside over a case against that remote defendant. Whether you are a park or amusement-related resort property, there are steps

you can take to limit your exposure to lawsuits in distant forums. First, your website, particularly if interactive, should absolutely contain a “forum selection” clause. That is, your website almost certainly has “Terms and Conditions” for online purchases of admission/tickets to your premises. Those Terms and Conditions should include the statement that the patron or customer agrees that any and all claims and/or lawsuits must be brought only in [name your local court]. That is a condition of your company agreeing to sell that patron the tickets or admission to your property. Even if you do not conduct business on your website (i.e., pre-sale of tickets or admission vouchers), but only sell on-site, you can reduce the odds of have to defend in remote venues by posting similar language at your ticket booths and/or entrances. The caveat is that you must indicate that the patron is agreeing to litigate any dispute in [your local court] by entering the property and/or purchasing the tickets. In essence, just as in every other contract, there must be “consideration” for each party’s agreement. Your park agrees to allow the patron admission and/or purchase tickets in exchange for the patron agreeing not to sue your park anywhere but the venue you have stated. Similar language can be printed on the back of your tickets, though this method is considerably less likely to be effective when done alone as opposed to when combined with signage at the location of the ticket purchase. In short, it takes very little time or money to amend your website Terms and Conditions, add a sign on your park entrance(s) or ticket booths, or add a sentence to the back of your tickets. However, this small effort can save you considerable time, angst, money, and inconvenience by ensuring that you will only have to defend your park locally, as opposed to thousands of miles away in a far less favorable court.

Heather M. Eichenbaum is an Executive Committee Member with Spector Gadon & Rosen, PC, practicing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Florida. Ms. Eichenbaum concentrates her practice in the defense of amusement, sports, hospitality, and recreation venues. Legal counsel to, and a Board Member of, NAARSO, she is also a member of the NJAA, IAAPA, OABA, and IISF. For legal assistance regarding forum selection clauses, you can reach her at: +1 215-241- 8856, or

An invitation to Adventureland’s Mystery Mansion…

with a manor-type façade. Inside, Mystery Mansion is packed with animatronics and special effects lightning and sound, and unlike other haunted rides, the frights in Mystery Mansion can be changed and moved daily to keep guests “in the dark” about the next spook. Riders 122 cm and taller will sit in red floorless chairlift-style seats, each complete


with a huge tarantula to escort them through the rooms of frights. As riders are carted around the mansion, they will get the opportunity to see Adventureland’s historic midway like never before; the double seat chairlift will exit the mansion briefly during its tour of the second floor, allowing guests to see the park in action below, before re- entering the mansion for the second half of the ride.

dventureland’s first ever two-storey dark ride offers chills and thrills to visitors at the New York park. Called Mystery Mansion, the ride was designed and manufactured by Gosetto, and is located inside a towering blue building

A roaring new thrill set for 2019

debut at Djurs Sommerland Danish amusement park Djurs Sommerland has announced that a new thrill ride is set to arrive in May 2019, as the result of a €5m investment. Called Tigeren, the ride will be part of a new themed area, Wild Asia, together

with DrageKongen – Europe’s fastest and longest family suspended coaster from 2017. Tigeren has its own record-breaking stats, being one of Europe’s tallest Gyro Swings, and the tallest ride in Djurs Sommerland. Intamin, who also supplied Piraten, and Juvelen to the park, manufactured both rides. Tigeren’s rotating gondola swings 45m in the air at a top speed of 100km/h.

Riders experience a G-force of over 4.5G, creating a feeling of weightlessness during the two minute ride.


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