Teen with disability claims discrimination in Six Flags lawsuit

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. -- A disabled New Jersey teenager's lawsuit against Six Flags Great Adventure over access to the amusement park's rides will go forward after a judge declined to dismiss the action.

Joseph Masci and his parents filed the suit in 2012 after the then-14-year-old was told he wasn't permitted on all but two rides because of the park's new ridership rules.

Both sides filed for summary judgment, with Six Flags seeking to have the case dismissed. The ruling released Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano denied both motions, meaning the case will go forward.

Joseph was born without fully formed feet and is missing his right arm below the elbow. His left arm is shortened and has four fingers and a thumb. His suit claims that the amusement park violated state and federal anti-discrimination laws for barring him from the rides, including some he'd ridden before, according to court papers.

Six Flags, located in Jackson, countered that it is bound under New Jersey law to follow ridership guidelines mandated by its ride manufacturers. Under the new rules, the park excludes from most rides people without at least one fully formed arm and one fully formed leg.

An attorney for Six Flags didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.