Crowd Surge Lawsuit
Can You Sue a Concert Venue?
Concertgoers, festivalgoers, and others who attend events with large crowds are generally not liable for injuries resulting from a crowd surge. Rather, it is the responsibility of a venue and others to make sure that crowd crush injuries do not occur.
If you have found yourself trapped in a dense crowd at a concert, sporting event, or other venue and you sustained injuries, can you sue a concert venue? Yes, in many cases. While the success of any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit will depend on specific circumstances, a concert venue and event organizers may be responsible for crowd crush injuries and crowd crush deaths.
Premises Liability and Negligence in Crowd Crush Injury Cases
When guests attend concerts and other crowded events, event organizers and property owners have a legal duty to look out for the safety of their guests. So, when people are injured on others’ property, they may be able to recover compensation for their injuries from property owners or event organizers. Families of victims killed by crowd surges can file a wrongful death case against responsible parties.
A crowd crush lawsuit, or lawsuit dealing with any form of injury sustained at a concert venue or similar property, would be a specific type of premises liability case. Property owners have a responsibility to keep premises safe from hazardous conditions. Violation of this duty forms the basis of many premises liability cases.
At concerts, sports games, and other crowded events, organizers and property owners have a legal obligation to keep you safe.
Because event organizers owe guests a duty of care and legal obligation to look out for their safety, you can sue if you get injured at a concert if the event organizers, or other responsible parties, were negligent. Negligence occurs when people and other entities fail to exercise care that they’re legally required to exercise.
A lawyer for crowd crush injuries will look to determine how a venue or property owner was negligent, whether through poor planning, inadequate security, and other factors led to the dangerous crowd surge.
Premises liability applies to all types of properties, from people’s homes to office buildings to large stadiums and concert venues. When poor planning and preparation and other negligent actions lead to injuries and deaths, injury victims may be able to recover compensation.
Can You Sue a Sports Venue for Negligence?
You can sue a sports venue for negligence. If you were injured or if a loved one was killed during a crowd surge at a sports venue, you should contact a lawyer for crowd crush injuries. While you can file a crowd crush lawsuit against a sports venue, the venue type rarely matters.
Harmful and dangerous crowd surges can occur at:
Any type of event with large crowds can generate crowd surges if there is sufficient crowd density and a catalyst that sets off the surge. While you can sue if you get injured at a sports game, you can also sue if you are injured in a crowd surge at many other types of events.
Crowd surges can occur at both indoor and outdoor events, but crowd surge examples rarely happen at events with seating for audiences; they’re more common in standing-room environments. Fights and rowdy crowd activity are possible at any event, however.
Crowd Crush Injuries
Why Big Crowds Can Be Unsafe
The incredible pressure and force that crowds create can result in serious crowd crush injuries and even death. Crowd surges can cause injuries as a result of:
- Stomp injuries and being trampled
- Asphyxiation from bodies being pressed together or trampled
- Fall injuries as a result of being tripped or lifted up and thrown by the crowd’s force
- Pileups when fallen crowd members cannot get up
Broken bones, internal organ damage, and suffocation are but some of the serious injuries caused by crowd surges.
How Do Crowd Surges Happen?
When too many people are crowded into one place, crowd surges can occur. Crowd surges can happen in any setting with packed standing room environments but can be most likely to occur near stages or by gate entranceways and exits where people must funnel into a small space.
Standing room environments, or “festival seating,” are the most dangerous and potentially deadly crowd configuration at live events.
Crowd surges happen when crowd density reaches a point where people cannot easily move about and become so packed in that breathing can be difficult. Typically, a catalyst causes a crowd to quickly shift or move in one direction, confining people within the crowd. A catalyst could be a performer making a grand entrance on stage, a sudden downpour of rain, or someone brandishing a weapon.
How Can Crowd Crush Deaths and Injuries Be Prevented?
At large events and large venues, poor planning and poor security can lead to crowd surge lawsuits if a dangerous crowd surge causes injuries or deaths. Yet crowd surges and crowd crush events can be prevented by keeping crowds from becoming too dense, even at very large events.
- Separating Crowds – Barriers, pens, and other physical means of breaking up crowds can help to disperse crowd density. Crowd separation is key to preventing crowd crush injuries. Breaking up standing-room areas reduces density, and zoning off pathways allows security and venue personnel to easily reach sections of a crowd.
- Security and Spotters – Event organizers and venue operators must employ enough security to be able to control large crowds as well as both quickly spot and respond to dangerous conditions like crowd surges. Venues should have strategically placed spotters who can quickly observe a crowd surge and alert security and performers to stop a show until a surge dissipates.
- Emergency and Medical Personnel – Venues must staff with necessary levels of emergency response and medical personnel. If crowd crush injuries happen, there must be enough medical personnel on hand and emergency procedures in place to quickly respond to injuries and even save lives.
- Crowd Control and Occupancy Measures – In addition to separating and thinning crowds near event stages, entranceways and exits must be sectioned off so that crowds can disperse and use multiple exits, preventing funneling. Finally, event organizers must not exceed venue occupancy limits, and organizers should take appropriate measures to screen attendees for weapons and other harmful items and substances upon entering.
Who Is Liable in a Crowd Crush Lawsuit?
A Lawyer for Crowd Crush Injuries Can Hold Negligent Parties Responsible
If you are wondering, can you sue a concert venue? The answer is yes, but who would the case be filed against? Crowds at concerts and other events are, by their nature, made up of many people. Therefore, blaming the crowd is futile. Event organizers know of crowds’ dangers, and it’s up to them to prevent crowd surges and to quickly stop dangerous activity.
If venues want to avoid crowd surge lawsuits, they must be proactive and take all measures to control crowds and prevent dangerous conditions.
Negligent parties in a crowd crush lawsuit might include event and festival organizers, building and event space owners and property managers, event security and emergency response personnel, and others. Multiple people and entities have responsibility for ensuring guests’ safety at sports game, concerts, and other crowded events. In some cases, performers can also be liable if they do not take action to calm or disperse a crowd by stopping a show and calling out dangerous conditions.
Negligent Security at Venues
Negligent security also relates to premises liability. When visiting a person’s or business’s property, a property owner is legally obligated to ensure guests’ safety. Security measures should be in place to handle threats like violent attacks and, in the case of crowded venues, surging crowds.
If a property owner or event organizer knew about a potential threat but did not take sufficient security measures to prevent or handle a hazardous threat, injured parties may have a valid negligent security claim. At concerts and other events with large crowds, venues must employ sufficient security to handle crowds.
Crowd Surge Examples at Past Events
Crowd surges can and do happen every year across the United States and globally at concerts and other events that pack in thousands of spectators. In some cases, crowd surges cause no injuries and quickly dissipate. In others, crowd crush deaths and severe injuries can result. Some especially tragic concerts and events involving deadly crowd crushes have appeared on national news. Such tragedies are poignant reminders of how large crowds paired with negligence can be devastating.
On November 5, 2021, Houston’s sold out Astroworld Festival featured live music for a crowd of 50,000 attendees. After performer Travis Scott took the stage, attendees began pushing toward the stage, causing a deadly crowd surge. The crowd was so densely packed that attendees struggled to breathe. People pushed to the ground couldn’t get back up. In the end, 10 people were killed, including a 9-year-old child, and numerous others were hospitalized and injured.
When British rock band The Who performed at the Riverfront Coliseum in 1979, 11 attendees died and more than two dozen were injured. When attendees thought that the band was beginning the show early, many pushed toward the venue’s only two open doors. As a result of this surge, people were trampled and injured or asphyxiated.
Camp Randall Stadium
In 1993, students charged the field at Camp Randall Stadium in celebration of the University of Wisconsin Badgers football team’s win. The surge injured 73 students, including six severely injured. Rushing students were pinned against the field’s guardrails and subsequently trampled when the rails broke and the crowd spilled onto the field.
Hurt at a Crowded Event? Call Our Legal Team
No one expects a night out at a concert, sports game, or other crowded event to turn deadly or result in serious injury. However, when tightly packed crowds lead to crowd surges and other deadly crowd behaviors, you should know who to call if you get injured.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys know how to thoroughly investigate your case. We can hold negligent parties accountable and obtain compensation for your damages. When crowd crush deaths and injuries occur, such tragedies should have been prevented. But we can still help you obtain compensation that you’re owed. Call us now at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.
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