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NEGLIGENT CLOWNING

Hall v. Amusement Park (10/91)

Defense Lawyer: Boyd F. Jensen II

Facts: On August 5, 1989, 28 year old Plaintiff, Hall, was sitting with her boyfriend on a wide-surfaced planter wall which surrounded a tree at Amusement Park. Plaintiff alleged that the clown who was performing acts with a "pet rat" surprised and scarred her so that she fell backwards into the planter sustaining injuries. The clown stated that his act was with an artificial animal but it was intended to surprise and tease guests of the park. Defense counsel called and qualified two "clowns" as experts named "Gumdrops" & "Popcorn".

Damages: Besides a scraped back, the plaintiff alleges she suffered soft tissue neck, back and shoulder injuries. She claimed headaches and emotional injuries. Medical: $10,000 Earnings Loss: $5,000 General Damages: $100,000

Jurisdiction: Orange County
Judge: T. Garcia (Pro Tem)

Plaintiff's Demand: $10,000
Defendant's Offer: $500

Verdict: Defense