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Group sues owners of Kennywood, Sandcastle, Idlewild parks over mask policy

PITTSBURGH — A group of parents of children with disabilities, as well as adults with disabilities themselves, have filed a lawsuit against the owners of Kennywood, Sandcastle, and Idlewild over the company’s mask policy.

Palace Entertainment, the company that owns the parks, has a policy that requires all guests to wear masks to enter the parks and while they are inside the parks. The policy does not provide an exception for people who have disabilities or can’t wear a mask for medical reasons.

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The lawsuit claims the company’s policy violates a part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of three kids with autism and their parents. The parents say their kids cannot wear masks due to their medical conditions. An adult with a medical excuse is also part of the lawsuit.

Phil DiLucente, a local attorney, said it is a well-plead complaint.

“The claim is that Kennywood, as well as Sandcastle, is acting in a reckless and negligent conduct,” he said. “They should not be required under the law -- regardless of it’s a theme park or not -- to ever wear a mask.”

Channel 11 spoke with a company spokesperson about its policy.

“It’s very unfortunate, but for us, the most important thing is protecting everybody,” said Nick Paradise, spokesperson for Kennywood.

Guests can remove their masks at designated “cooling zones,” but there is a 10-minute time limit.


Paradise said anyone without a mask will be denied entry, and anyone refusing to wear theirs inside the parks may be escorted out. He said they are confident this mask policy will help keep guests safe, even with the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.