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Four Years of the American Dream

The American Dream Mall, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey, occupies over 3 million square feet and contains over 450 stores, making it the second-largest mall in the United States. But American Dream isn’t just a shopping mall–half of its complex is devoted to entertainment, including an indoor amusement park, water park, ski and snowboard park, mini golf, and much more.

On February 19, 2023, at American Dream’s DreamWorks Water Park, a large decorative helicopter hanging from a ceiling fell into a pool and injured four people. All four victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and the park reopened six days later, on the 25th. State officials reported that the helicopter had fallen because the rope holding it up had been damaged. Lisa Ryan, a spokesperson for New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, stated that the helicopter had been “‘inspected during building construction’”, but not at any point after construction. Ryan said that “‘as per the Uniform Construction Code, there are no requirements for ongoing inspections of suspended themed features or other hanging objects once the building is complete and approved for occupancy.’” In other words, the helicopter didn’t have to be periodically inspected after the first, initial inspection.

The American Dream Mall And Its Tracked Record of Personal Injuries

Since its opening in October of 2019, American Dream has had a series of other incidents that have tarnished its reputation.

In February 2020, a woman suffered significant injuries while skiing at Big Snow, American Dream’s 16-story indoor ski and snowboard park. She felt uncomfortable going down either of Big Snow’s two main ski slopes but felt pressured to. While she was going down the intermediate-level slope, she fell several times and tore her right ACL. She required surgery and months of recovery and filed a lawsuit against the mall in New Jersey’s federal district court.

On September 25, 2021, Big Snow caught fire and suffered significant damage. It only reopened in May of 2022. Luckily, no one was injured because the fire began at night when no one was on the premises.

In April 2022, a man was shot on the mall’s second floor, during an attempted robbery. The mall went on lockdown and the victim was hospitalized at the Hackensack University Medical Center for serious injuries.

On December 8, 2022, 24-year-old Peter Matthew fell and lost his life while snowboarding down a hill in Big Snow. He was an Airman First Class in the Maryland Air National Guard.

Earlier in February, Sol-MM III LLC filed a lawsuit against American Dream in the New Jersey Superior Court. SOL-MM III LLC represents two firms, Western Asset Management and Nonghyup Bank of South America. The two firms contributed to financing the construction of the American Dream, which was a massive $1.7-billion construction project. The other lenders to the project agreed to give American Dream a four-year extension to repay the loan, but the plaintiffs allege that American Dream cut them out of the negotiation. They’re now seeking $389 million from American Dream.

The mall offers great entertainment and shopping experiences for children, but it’s important to know about the incidents that have occurred at the mall and how the mall has responded to them. In some instances, if you were injured at a venue, a personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you in proving that the venue was negligent in its failure to create a safe environment for patrons. This may happen if a venue doesn’t clean up a spill, fails to meet inspection regulations, has dangerous walking conditions, and more.

Contact Our New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys if You Got Injured at The American Dream Mall

If you or someone you know has suffered an accident at a venue, the attorneys at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. has decades of experience and may be able to help. The firm offers free and confidential case evaluations and is available 24/7.

Contact them today by calling 201-444-4444. More information can be found on their website at

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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.