Breaking into amusement park, taking ride on slide does not end well

Visiting Myrtle Beach for a wedding, two New York women walk by a closed amusement park in the early morning hours and resolve on a joyride:

“Even though it was closed, the plaintiffs were easily able to move the unsecured gate at the entrance to the Pipeline Slide and climb the stairs to the top of the slide,” claims the lawsuit. “Without any employees present to instruct them, the plaintiffs were not aware that they needed to have the slide sprayed with water, nor did they know that they needed a burlap sack to safely go down the side.”

“Without these safety precautions, the plaintiffs slid down the slide at a very high velocity, colliding with the metal barrier at the bottom of the slide,” the lawsuit also claims. “As a result of the collision, both plaintiffs sustained significant injuries.”

Now they want damages against the park on a variety of theories, including punitive damages. [WBTW]


  • I find for the plaintiffs and award them tickets to another state.

  • Hear the rising chorus. Crime should pay. Stupidity should pay.

    “This is what democracy looks like” in 21st century America.

  • Unfortunately, they will probably win. The ride could easily be considered an “attractive nuisance”.

  • There was a similar incident in Canada, resulting in more severe injuries, but no lawsuit.

  • This scenario was basically my Torts I exam question at South Carolina Law in 1995.

  • I am not a lawyer.

    I have never heard of the concept “attractive nuisance,” but I can understand it…when it comes to children. However, even children know (or should by the time they’re school age) what locks, doors, gates, etc. are for, and that it is wrong (unless it is an emergency) to enter a house, a school, building, business, etc.–or even a locked diary–without the owner’s permission, even if locked doors, windows, gates, etc., are easily bypassed. Kids know that when something is closed that means they don’t have permission to enter, so why shouldn’t adults be expected to know the same, regardless of how “attractive” something might be?

    If we’re to have any hope of restoring common sense and personal responsibility in this country, lawyers must stop rationalizing ways to make poor judgement and stupidity profitable.

    I will be spending tomorrow with my grandchildren and their friends (ages 9, 10. 12, and 14) and I’m going to ask them who they think should win this. Should be interesting.

  • A dumb layman’s q, perhaps, but isn’t “attractive nuisance” something that applies to children, not to adults?

  • I think that if two woman stupid enough to injure themselves in this moronic fashion could get into a closed amusement park, then the park has not locked up anything in a secure manner and is a threat to public safety. I would find for the defendants, award them $1 damages, and let their lawyers collect enough in fees to make the park think seriously about the consequences. Then I would alert the municipal authorities descend on them.


    • I would find for the defendants, award them $1 and make them pay their lawyers on their own.

  • Update:

    According to information from the Horry County Public Index, counsel for plaintiffs Ally Mulcahy and Jillian McGovern filed a stipulation on Monday to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice.

    WMBF News Staff 11/18/18

    They came from a wedding. Maybe alcohol was involved

  • What about breaking and entering?

  • Update:

    The decision from my grandchildren (the 10 and 12 year-olds) was immediate and in complete agreement (a rarity for those two): the amusement park should win. The topic did provide for about 30 minutes of lively conversation during our 90 minute car ride, especially the idea of an “attractive nuisance.” (Unfortunately–or maybe fortunately–we were on to other things by the time we arrived for dinner, so we forgot to ask the other kids.)

    Our discussion touched on several aspects of law and personal responsibility, especially once their parents joined in:: breaking and entering, trespassing, reckless endangerment, and slander/impugning character (“If they [the women] win everyone will think the amusement park did something bad, and they didn’t, and that’s not fair.” 10 YO). There was also some confusion (“They broke in and trespassed and that’s against the law, so how could the amusement park be in trouble?” 12 YO), and some youthful moralizing (“They should be glad they’re alive, not mad because they got hurt and now have medical bills. That’s their own fault.” 12 YO).

    There was also some down-to-earth reality, courtesy of my son: “I doubt they’re suing anyone–their insurance company is probably suing the amusement park insurance company ’cause they know amusement parks have to carry big liability policies. They don’t plan on ever going to court–it’s all a dollars game now: they’re looking for a dollar amount to settle out of court.” Needless to say, this did not satisfy my grandkids need for justice, for doing what’s right.