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Confusing pleading, even in a notice pleading, state leads to summary judgment.

July 1, 2018
Tafaro v. Six Flags Great Adventure, LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53013

Two counts of a four-count complaint were dismissed on a motion for summary judgment on behalf of Six Flags Great Adventure. In count one, the plaintiff brought a claim against the park under the New Jersey Product Liability Act, in which he argued argue that, even though the Act did not apply, it should apply. The court held that the case law was clear that a park owner and operator is not a “manufacturer , distributor, or seller of a product.” In Doerflein v. Six Flags Great Adventure, No. A-0522-04T2m 2006 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 279, 2006 WL 392980, the court explained that the NJPLA’s definition of a product seller explicitly excluded entities such as Six Flags. In count IV, the court tried to determine what was being alleged. The allegations appeared to incorporate a claim for punitive damages for an alleged cover-up of an investigation, which is required by the Carnival-Amusement Rides Safety Act; N.J.S.A. 5:3-31. The court found that this Act did not set forth a private cause of action, but that violation of this Act could be used as evidence of negligence. The court also determined that the other claims included in count IV, sounding in fraudulent concealment and emotional distress, were improperly pleaded or premature prior to discovery. The fourth claim incorporated in count IV, for punitive damages, failed because there was no independent cause of action for compensatory damages as the rest of count IV failed to state a substantive case.


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2018

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