When rap artist Travis Scott had a concert in Harris county, 10 people were killed and more than 300 were injured according to The Guardian. The cause of death was found to be “compression asphyxiation,” which occurred because fans, of which there were 50,000, were squeezed “so tightly together that they could not breathe or move their arms.” The Astroworld crowd surge tragedy is just the latest on a long list of crowd surges in which 10 or more people were killed, according to Business Insider, which can occur in stadiums, Black Friday sales, concerts, protests in which police use violence, and religious events. But when it comes to concert venue injuries, crowd surges are not the only cause of injury or death.
Dangerous Conditions at a Concert Venue Can Lead to Serious Injuries
Both outdoor and indoor concert venues can become dangerous places if the property security measures or emergency measures are not taken, if the event organizer crams too many people into the space, or if the property owner lets the venue fall into disrepair. Even on a good day, a lot can go wrong, given the circumstances of a large concert; after all, concerts involve large crowds compacted into a small space, the crowd—some of whom are intoxicated—is amped up and often unruly, there is poor lighting, and it can be impossible to even hear the person next to you talking. This all combines for a dangerous situation if something goes wrong, or if an occupant requires medical help.
Examples of Hazardous Conditions Resulting in a Concert Premises Liability Claim
Any number of overlooked hazards at a concert venue could potentially lead to an otherwise avoidable injury. Common examples include the following:
- Overcrowding causes dangerous squeeze or crowd surge conditions
- Dangerous walking or standing areas caused by uneven surfaces, cracks, rips or tears in carpeting, unmarked level changes, and tripping hazards such as cords or merchandise
- Spilled food, drink, or other substances causing a slip and fall hazard
- Unmarked stairs or step-ups/step downs
- Lack of hand railings on ramps and stairs
- Broken stair steps or slippery stair surface
- Inadequate ventilation, air conditioning, shade, or access to water or other liquids for rehydration
- Unsanitary conditions leading to the spread of communicable diseases (particularly regarding inadequate restroom infrastructure or removal and management of human waste)
- Negligent security leads to fights or dangerous mosh pits
- Inadequate lighting in hallways, stairs, bathrooms, or other areas
- Failure to seal off or barricade construction zones or other dangerous areas unfit for concert-goers
- Failure to have enough emergency medical personnel on-site
- The disrepair of the building leads to infrastructure collapse, such as a collapsed balcony
- Fire hazards include faulty wiring, defective or worn-out speakers and other electronics, lack of fire extinguishers, or lack of smoke detectors
Liability for Concert Venue Injuries
Various parties can be held liable for injuries you or your loved one sustained at the event. These parties include the:
- Event promoter
- Event organizer
- Event security
- Property/venue owner
- Concert manager
- Artist or performers
All of these above parties have a duty to create and maintain a safe environment, which includes minimizing dangers by addressing hazards quickly and thoroughly.
Actual Knowledge and Constructive Knowledge
In order to prove fault, the liable party must have either known about the hazard that caused your injuries, or they should have known. These two types of knowledge about a hazard are termed actual and constructive knowledge.
- “Actual” knowledge example: the week before the event, the venue owner is told by an employee that the railing of a balcony is damaged and loose. During the event, the crowd pressure causes the railing to fail, and multiple people fall a dozen feet to the ground, resulting in broken bones and spinal cord injuries. In this scenario, the at-fault party had real knowledge of a hazard.
- “Constructive” knowledge example: constructive knowledge is the knowledge that the party “should have known,” even if they did not have that knowledge directly. For example, a venue owner who simply let the building fall into disrepair because they decided to cut costs by not hiring an employee or contractor to upkeep the facility can still be found negligent if a balcony railing fails during the concert. They might not have had actual knowledge of the hazard, but they did have constructive knowledge because, after years of neglect, it would be assumed that a building that is heavily used by tens of thousands of people every week would sustain damage due to wear and tear.
The next factor necessary to prove fault, after actual or constructive knowledge is proven, is time to address the hazard. Did the potentially negligent party have enough time to fix that balcony, clean up the slippery surface, or fix the out-of-commission lighting in that unlit stairwell?
Common Premises Liability Injuries in Concert Venues
- Fractured arm, wrist, ankle, foot, hand, and leg bones
- Fractured ribs
- Fractured collar bone
- Contusions and lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractured neck or back
- Herniated disc injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Burn injuries
- Smoke inhalation
- Heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Damages Awarded for Injuries Sustained at Concert Venues
There are two types of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury claim involving concert injuries: economic and non-economic. Economic damages involve the costs and economic losses incurred from the injury, including medical care, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages include the victim’s pain and suffering, loss of joy in life, emotional distress, PTSD, and more. You can be fairly and heavily compensated for both, but only if you make the decision to work with a qualified Glendale premises liability attorney.
Talk to a Glendale Premises Liability Attorney Today
The premises liability lawyers in Glendale at Ourfalian & Ourfalian have handled countless concert venue claims in which our clients sustained serious injuries due to the property owner or promoter’s negligence. There is a limited time to file a claim for compensation. Call us at (818) 550 – 7777 for a free consultation and to get started today.