Media spotlight on Maine hayride tragedy lawsuit

The filing of a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with a fatal hayride crash in 2014 was reported by media outlets throughout Maine and around the nation last week. The news stories highlighted the establishment of the ShineonCass Foundation, a charitable organization being created by the victim’s family.

Cassidy Charette, 17, was an honor student and standout athlete at Messalonskee High School in Oakland, Maine. On Oct. 11, 2014, she and some friends went to “The Gauntlet” at Harvest Hill Farm, a popular haunted hayride attraction in the town of Mechanic Falls. Cassidy died when a 1979 Jeep and the wagon it was towing went out of control and flipped while traveling down a hill.

Berman & Simmons attorneys Jodi Nofsinger and Daniel Kagan filed the civil lawsuit July 6 on behalf of Cassidy’s parents, Randy and Monica Charette.

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“This was a really simple accident to prevent,” Jodi Nofsinger told WMTW 8 TV. “This is a situation where, unbeknownst to the public, this business was being run in a very unsafe way, with very unsafe vehicles pulling their hayrides.”