Death, Heart Attack or Other Malady in a Haunted Attraction

I was watching a Travel Channel documentary last night about these “haunted” attractions in various places that are quite the rage these days. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, imagine an abandoned factory or some patch of woods where people pay to walk through scenes of gore and death, while costumed actors chase them with chainsaws.

My question: I imagine that customers have to sign some sort of waiver before going into one of those places. However, if a patron were to suffer some sort of adverse reaction to the environment (say, a heart attack), would the attraction be exposed to any liability?

Furthermore, has there ever been a case of such a thing happening (a patron of a haunted attraction suffering a heart attack or other serious malady as a result of the attraction)?

This part is throwing me off. Haunted houses even with chain saws have been around for a very long time. You don’t sign a waver and people know that it is fake. The laws of probability suggest that someone has died in one because so many people go through them. People, including the pilot (that is one reason they have two pilots), on commercial airline flights die frequently enough. I wish I could give you a specific examples but I can’t find any. However, someone has died from almost anything you can think of.

Ex- amusement park operations guy here.

People die in entertainment venues all the time. Movie theatres, theme parks, you name it. I have had a customer die on one of the rides in our park while I was on duty, her heart just stopped. She apparently had some kind of undiagnosed heart problem. The parents sent out one ambulance chaser, but they ended up dropping the suit a couple weeks later without settlement.

Liability wise, we let the insurance companies hash that out. We consulted them any time we were considering a new attraction or making any significant changes to one, we play by the rules they make, they pay for the bodies.

Like any business of any scale, we had a team of attack lawyers on retainer. One of those was specifically a “risk management” specialist.