Law Firm v. 'Invisible' Halloween Costume

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on October 23, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Halloween is here and so begins a fresh season of spooky lawsuits. The most recent Halloween lawsuit seems rather prosaic when compared to suits of previous years.

Speaking of suits, did you know that there's a kid's costume being sold that claims to make the wearer invisible?

Invisibility Suit + Cars = Halloween Horror Story

An Arizona law firm has taken it on themselves to be the flag bearer in an effort to ban the "I'm Invisible" full length body suit found at many online retailers. We didn't say invisible body suit as in a birthday suit, but a suit that makes its wearer invisible -- by being completely and utterly featureless. Nothing special about this thing except that it amounts to a suit of nylon for your entire body.

If you're thinking invisibility is the last thing you want to grant sugar-pumped, mischief-seeking kids, you're in litigious company. Attorney James Goodnow of Fennemore Craig, the firm spearheading the ban effort speaks from experience: his firm is a PI firm. Child pedestrian deaths do indeed skyrocket on October 31, making it the most dangerous night for kids. Making a kid invisible will certainly exacerbate that number. Well, how could being hidden from view help auto-related deaths?

But who bears the liability? In the opinion of some, motorists can hardly be held liable for negligence because the kids are, well ... invisible. On the other end of the table, plaintiff's lawyers will no doubt argue that motorists should reasonably know that their neighborhood is now crawling with legions of invisible miscreants running around, haunting us all with potential lawsuits.

Durmon v. Billings: The plaintiff was a thrill-seeker who payed to enter into a haunted corn-field on Halloween night. He encountered a chainsaw wielding "Jason" figure of "Friday the 13th" fame. The plaintiff ran, slipped on mud, and broke his leg. Suit followed.

The court found for the defendant by relying on two common law concepts: assumption of the risk and plainly obvious. Basically, the plaintiff paid to be scared so he assumed the risk of being scared and the condition of the field was plainly obvious to a reasonable person. Goodbye suit.

Devane v. Sears Home Improvement: This one could be seen from miles away. A sales employee arrived at work Halloween 2000 wearing a doctor's costume. Another employee unbuckled his pants, pointed at his crotch and said "Here, Doctor. It hurts here." We leave you to guess how that went.

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