Premises liability law not only includes keeping people from danger and injuries by remedying a known injury on the land and warning invitees, but it includes knowing of potential dangers in advance. For event organizers and property owners, this can be done by devising a plan in advance by observing the likelihood of injuries based upon the organizer’s past experience and present knowledge on the probability of dangers. In this way, the property owner takes steps to prevent invitees from suffering injuries by stopping injuries before they occur. When organizers and properly owners fail to do so and patrons fall victim to injuries that could have been foreseen, the organizers and owners can be held liable for negligence under premises liability law.
According to a recent article by CBS, this was an issue with a recent Beyonce concert in Chicago, where two concertgoers suffered injuries that arguably could have been prevented with proper planning and supervision over attendees. Two Chicago women purchased general admission tickets for a Beyonce concert at Chicago’s United Center and arrived hours early to obtain their spots in advance. However, when fans were finally allowed into the venue, the women were trampled in a stampede of fans. The rushing mob left them unconscious and with broken bones, among other injuries. They have now filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against The United Center, Live Nation Entertainment, and Beyonce. The lawsuit alleges that each party contributed to the confused and disorderly crowd that gathered outside the venue before the show.
The victims described how they arrived hours before the gates would open so that they could secure a good seat. They stated that as hours passed, the crowd continued to become larger, more dense, and anxious. People were not aware of when the gates would open and where they were supposed to enter. The venue’s personnel finally opened the gates without any instruction or system to allow for an orderly entrance. As a result, the women were trampled and they argue that the parties did nothing to prevent or discourage a mob from rushing inside when the gates were opened, but instead encouraged this to occur by its lack of system, set-up, and no effort for control.
Being that these tickets were general admission, this meant that the view or spot that fans acquired was not assigned but up to their own choosing. At such a big-name celebrity event, it is often very competitive to obtain a good spot, and fans, like these two women, will arrive hours in advance to line up in hopes of getting as close to the performance and celebrity as possible. It is argued that the event-planners, celebrity, and venue have experience, and therefore, foresight as to the actions concert-goers commonly take when they possess general admission tickets. Fans will arrive very early and line up for the event. However, even with this knowledge and foresight, there were no areas to create a line, no process for admitting people, and no supervision or security to allow fans into the venue. As a result, this created a stampede of people, which caused injuries to the two women.
Every year thousands of concerts and large events take place in Chicago. Event organizers and property owners are responsible for anticipating dangerous situations and training staff on how to properly control crowds to prevent patrons from being injured or killed. If you or someone you love has been hurt at a large event, you may also be able to hold the responsible parties liable for negligence. Since 1992, our lawyers have helped hundreds of victims file premises liability lawsuits so that they may recover fair compensation for the harms caused to them. We advocate for injured plaintiffs and believe in setting a legal example so that future accidents can be prevented.