Approximately 40 people were injured when a railing at the front of the stage collapsed during a Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa concert last week. Today, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of 17 plaintiffs (14 concertgoers and three workers) against the artists and Live Nation Entertainment, one of whom even suffered a fractured spine. While it’s unclear what the case seeks in terms of punitive damages, Steven Wigrizer, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, has said that, “Every plaintiff has asked us to do all we can to help prevent a reoccurrence through the litigation.”
Sadly, malfunctioning equipment and railing collapses have happened numerous times over the past few years. Most remember the tragic stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair in 2011, which killed seven people. The lawsuit that followed was not settled until three years later, when a $50 million settlement was reached for the victims. Although, the state of Indiana did not have to pay liability damages incurred by the company that provided the stage.
There have been many more cases of fans at a concert or sporting event being injured. A Texas Rangers fan died when he fell over a railing trying to reach a ball that was tossed to him. The concert venue Red Rocks was sued after a rock fall injured four concertgoers two years ago. Just last week, rapper Troy Ave sued Irving Plaza for lack of security after one woman was killed and he was shot in the leg at a T.I. concert.
The list goes on in terms of lawsuits filed as a result of injuries sustained in a public venue, and based on the results of those cases, the plaintiffs here will likely reach a substantial settlement. The reason that the artists are included as defendants in the suit rather than just the promoter is because Snoop told the fans towards the back to come closer, resulting in a rush of people leaning against the railing to get closer to the stage.
The railing and the stage itself were separated by a 10 foot wide, six foot deep moat-like barrier, so when the railing collapsed, it was a long fall onto the concrete for nearly four dozen fans. It’s fortunate that no one lost their lives in the accident, but the rash of broken bones and other injuries were sustained because of Live Nation’s irresponsible planning and Snoop’s incitement of the crowd, according to the lawsuit. It’s likely that a settlement will be reached here, and we’ll update as the lawsuit develops.
*Featured image from Jørund Føreland Pedersen, via Wiki Commons