Family sues Six Flags Great America over beating

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 9:53 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Batavia family has sued Six Flags Great America after they were “viciously attacked” by a group of youths at the Gurnee amusement park during Fright Fest in September. The suit asserts that the operators of the park were negligent for allowing the attack to occur and because security personnel “did nothing to intervene” to stop it.

Read more from The Chicago Tribune.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:38 AM

Why not sue the park? It's going to be a free check; there is no downside for the family. Attorney's across Chicago were probably lining up and fighting over representing the family in this case.

You could try to file a civil suit against the charged teens, but they don't have deep pockets like the park does. So just go after the park.

Any decent contingency fee based attorney is going to shoot for the best chance of getting the largest settlement and Six Flags has the deep pockets and this will almost certainly settle pre-trial...an innocent family gets attacked while visiting a family theme park with the narrative that the park did nothing to stop it? You'd never put that in front of a jury.

Assuming that the physical injuries to the family were relatively minor and not lifelong lasting with mostly emotional damage as the result; it will likely settle for a few thousand bucks.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 12:00 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't know that it's entirely unreasonable to expect the park to provide an environment that is without violence. People have posted before about the general indifference toward line jumpers at that park, so maybe there's something to it.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 5:20 PM

There is a very specific crowd that comes from Chicago that comes and terrorizes this park all the time. Loud, obnoxious, zero respect for anyone around them, and roaming in packs of 10-20 teens at a time.

I don't think there is any obvious answer as to how they could fix this really except to raise prices. It's a sad fact of life that the south side of Chicago sometimes leaks into nice places.

EDIT: for reference, when I first told a friend about this story their response was an unsurprised "did the tasers come out?!" because that's a normal thing here now.

Last edited by RollrCoastrCrazy, Tuesday, November 21, 2017 5:22 PM
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 11:06 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Quite simply, this happened because it's been allowed to happen for years. There's lots of patrons who, based on the way they dress and look, just expect you to be intimidated by them and not say anything while they cut the lines. In the past, it didn't seem to come to more than that, but I think today's thugs have become much more bold and aggressive.

In addition to the specific "thug" problem that this story pertains to, I've seen line jumpers of all races, ages, and perceived economic backgrounds.

Line jumping is a problem for many parks, not just SF. Extra security is needed in lines, and if it were enforced, it would stop.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017 10:27 AM

RollrCoastrCrazy said:

There is a very specific crowd that comes from Chicago that comes and terrorizes this park all the time. Loud, obnoxious, zero respect for anyone around them, and roaming in packs of 10-20 teens at a time.

I don't think there is any obvious answer as to how they could fix this really except to raise prices. It's a sad fact of life that the south side of Chicago sometimes leaks into nice places.

The individuals responsible for this crime all live in Waukegan, a suburban community located just a few minutes from the park. It's a sad fact of life that close-minded individuals make sweeping generalizations based on misperceptions. Despite comments like this, the vast majority of all individuals on the south side of Chicago (and everywhere else for that matter) are law-abiding, polite and respectful.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017 7:38 PM

Which explains the murder every day...


Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017 7:45 AM

The murder rate is a byproduct of systemic and enduring structural socioeconomic disparities and easy access to guns flowing into the city. A huge problem to be sure, but any sociologist can assure you the majority of the population are not lawless thugs as you both infer. History repeatedly tells us such generalizations and labels are dangerous things that lead to bad outcomes (see also: Germany 1936, Cambodia 1975 and Rwanda 1994). Trying to nip this nonsense in the bud. Peace.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017 12:51 PM

The lawyer could make arguments about the policies and pricing structures that the park has put into place that allow unsupervised youth to come into the park and make trouble for middle income families. From what I understand, the season passes are make it very cheap for lower income families to buy them up, and use SF parks as babysitting services for their kids all summer. This is mostly a pervasive problem in the parks that are only miles from major cities. Years ago I talked to an executive at one of the local SF parks, and management saw this as a money loser, and were supposed to phase chase season passes out, but it looks like they never did.

So the lawyer could argue that, but it probably wouldn't be effective, because there are laws against discriminating against groups, and this sounds like it would blatant discrimination.

My suggestion to Six Flags parks in urban metro areas:

  • Institute age restrictions, where minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by legal guardians at the gate (guardian must purchase ticket for self) and minors must be accompanied by adult in park. Seems reasonable, probably breaks up the gangs and adds a layer of protection and safety for kids.
  • Phase out the season pass, or make it more price appropriate, like the Disney Parks do. If the price of admission is $60, make it $250 but also offer little goodies and coupon books.

That should probably solve the issues.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017 1:31 PM
Jeff's avatar

That would make way more sense. If you only sell 1/4 the season passes at the higher price, at least your admission revenue is maintained. And it's just a hunch, but I bet your in-park spending doesn't suffer much either, because I just don't imagine that people getting super low prices on passes are spending much.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, December 7, 2017 4:34 PM

They need the bodies in the park to encourage those that come for one day to buy their $80+ per person flash passes.

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Friday, December 8, 2017 9:41 AM
D_vo's avatar

SFGAm in particular doesn't need low prices to draw crowds, as it serves two separate metro areas, one of which is Chicago. I renewed my gold pass this year, and added a season-long dining plan, for a grand total of $170. That's absurdly inexpensive in relation to CF, where you pay over $300 for the same pass.

I understand Six Flags' strategy to just get people into the gate, but they're reaping what they sow. I'm all for a big price increase.


I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

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Friday, December 8, 2017 11:37 AM

Jeff said:

That would make way more sense. If you only sell 1/4 the season passes at the higher price, at least your admission revenue is maintained. And it's just a hunch, but I bet your in-park spending doesn't suffer much either, because I just don't imagine that people getting super low prices on passes are spending much.

Right, Disney kind of uses that model that I describe. Granted, their single day admissions are already through the roof, but season passes are even crazier. And ironically, there's even an in-Florida discount for having a season pass (implying some people are hard core enough that they fly in several times a year from out of state to go to Disney to use it).

And, as we know Disney has the free virtual queuing system that's available to all. Now if Disney could just get some decent roller coasters they could have some great parks.

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Friday, December 8, 2017 11:59 AM


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Friday, December 8, 2017 4:27 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I pay around $180 for a CF platinum pass every year even if all I use it fir is one trip to KD because the value is there. Some times I add food. Next year I’m adding the drinks for sure. I’m on the SF membership thing. It’s like $7 a month. Even if I don’t use it, that’s only $84 a year, and in 2017 I used it three times at oG. SF gate and pass pricing is far too cheap.


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