From 1978 to 1996, New Jersey was home to what is arguably the most unique amusement park ever designed. “The slogan was, ‘There’s nothing in the world like Action Park’ and that was actually pretty true… In one day, you could drive a race car, speedboat or a tank. You could learn to fly in the Aerodium, bungee jump, ride a bobsled, or do a 360-degree waterslide loop. I mean, where else could you do that before, then or after? You can’t.” remarked Andy Mulvihill, the son of park owner Eugene Mulvihill in a recent interview.
However, Action Park was not just unique, it was dangerous. Over the years, 5 park patrons died and many more were injured. Instead of driving people away, the park’s risky atmosphere was celebrated; with people bragging about the bruises, scrapes, and broken bones they got at Action Park.
That mythos persists. New Jerseyans have an enduring soft spot for the park, which so many visited during their childhood. During this summer of social distancing there is more interest than ever in the long-shuttered park.
A Book Called “Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park”
Andy Mulvihill, the son of park owner Eugene Mulvihill, is releasing a book about the park called “Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park,” and the tale has already been optioned for a TV series. HBO is showing a documentary about the park called “Class Action Park” which explores the public’s fascination with the park, and a collective nostalgia for a more dangerous or carefree way of living.
Ultimately, it was this devil-may-care attitude that put the park out of business. Whether the park owner and staff were in the wrong, or thrill-seeking patrons caught up in the park’s reputation were taking more risks than they should have is up for debate. What we know for sure is that when it closed, Action Park was facing numerous lawsuits from injured customers. And recent news articles suggest the owner was personally on the hook for those costs since the property may never have been insured.
Though modern amusement parks and water parks may be less exciting than Action Park, park-related accidents are still quite common. Levin & Malkin frequently helps injured patrons seek compensation for injuries suffered during what was supposed to be a day to relax and unwind.
Amusement park owners, like all business owners, owe a duty of care to their customers. When that duty is breached because the owner or staff are acting negligently or recklessly, and someone is injured, a lawsuit may be the best way to hold them accountable. Our experienced team of attorneys can help you figure out if you have a case, and how much money you can reasonably expect to receive if you choose to file a lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Posted in: Personal Injury