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Filing Claims Against Event Crowd Management Companies
Crowded events and venues across America have been the site of some of the nation’s greatest modern tragedies.
- In June 2016, a lone gunman killed nearly 50 people and injured 58 others in an Orlando nightclub.
- Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, reports would surface that protestors attending political rallies of the opposing candidate would be physically beaten or otherwise attacked.
- Just days ago, another mass shooting occurred in Las Vegas in which a madman rained down bullets on attendees of a country music festival from a nearby hotel.
Members of the public who are not directly impacted by these events may forget about them and move on with their lives, but oftentimes for the victims and surviving family members of these events, life will never be the same.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP
The experienced and compassionate premises liability attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP are convinced that those who suffer personal injury, property damage, and/or the death of a loved one should not be forgotten and should not be made to bear the financial costs of these losses themselves.
This is especially when event planners and those in charge of safety and security at these public events and forums could have taken reasonable measures to either prevent or mitigate the harm suffered by the victims.
Our personal injury attorneys have a national practice and recovered over $2 billion in compensation through verdicts and settlements for our clients. Parker Waichman LLP has also earned a “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, among other awards and honors.
Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys for Improper Event Crowd Management
In the aftermath of recent catastrophes, event organizers, public safety officials, and those who are placed in charge of controlling a crowd’s or public gathering’s movements and safety are well aware of the challenges they face. Although these are great burdens and are fraught with challenges, event organizers and planners are nonetheless responsible for taking reasonable precautions and actions in order to ensure:
- Crowds can safely enter the venue or event in an orderly manner and not injure themselves in the process
- Disorderly individuals or those who begin to assault others or destroy property are promptly removed from the crowd or gathering so that injuries and losses are minimized and other individuals are not enticed or instigated to join in such destructive behavior
- Medical assistance can be quickly delivered to those in the crowd and/or community who require such intervention
- Threats to the crowd’s safety can be quickly detected and the crowd safely but promptly evacuated from the venue or gathering place
- The crowd’s movement can be controlled and destruction to properly limited if the crowd becomes unruly and goes forth from the gathering place or venue and into the community
Common Injuries Caused by Large Crowds
Crowds and large gatherings also create the potential that many in the crowd will begin to think and/or act alike. Although the precise reasons why individuals who are gathered together tend to act in a similar fashion (sometimes ignoring laws or societal norms), event organizers, public safety officials and others must be prepared for crowds to get out of control.
When event organizers or those tasked with controlling and safeguarding the crowd fail to take their responsibilities seriously, injuries and other tragedies are almost certain to occur.
These injuries and losses can include:
Crushing Injuries and Deaths
Each year in America, it seems that several individuals are hurt or killed after being crushed or trampled in Black Friday sales. When a crowd moves en masse, individuals who do not keep up with the crowd’s movement can fall and be stepped on or crushed and/or asphyxiated against buildings and solid structures (as occurred in the 1979 Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati, Ohio).
Shooting Deaths and Assaults
As the October 2017 Mandalay Bay tragedy showed, terrorists and those intent on attacking others will often use large gatherings to carry out their evil plans. This is because the noise of a crowd can conceal gunshots and screams – in other words, it can take a crowd some time before it realizes there is danger and to react to such a threat. Moreover, without an adequate escape plan, a crowd can become trapped at an event or venue as it attempts to leave for safety.
Apart from these violent acts, assaults at concerts, rallies, and other gatherings committed by one person can provoke others to commit similar acts, leading to large brawls and confrontations. Those who are not involved in the original melee may nonetheless be hurt in the ensuing chaos.
Crowds that become unruly may decide to leave the event location or venue and progress into the surrounding community. There, either in rage or an abundance of excitement, cars, real estate, and other property may be damaged or destroyed. (Just think of the damage caused by protests in St. Louis and elsewhere, or the property destruction that occurs in a city following a major sports championship.) While property damage certainly does not result in the same financial and emotional trauma as physical injuries, these losses can nonetheless cause you and your loved ones’ sense of safety and security in your community to be destroyed.
Time Limitations to File for Compensation is Limited
It is important that you act quickly and speak with an experienced crowd/event management attorney as soon as possible about your legal rights. Every state has a time-sensitive statute of limitations that dictates how soon following an injury or loss at a public event or venue a lawsuit seeking compensation must be filed.
These statutes of limitations can give injury victims as little as one year to file a claim. Failing to meet the statute of limitations can result in the dismissal of your lawsuit.
Gathering Evidence in Crowd Related Injury or Wrongful Death Actions
Acting quickly after an injury at a concert, rally, or other public gathering is also important because it increases the likelihood that evidence and witness testimony will be available to help you prove your case. Important evidence may also be lost or become irretrievable if a lawsuit is not initiated quickly. Similarly, witnesses’ memories can fade or witnesses themselves can become impossible to locate.
Important evidence to secure as quickly as possible may include:
- Business records
- Surveillance videos
- Subcontracts with subcontractors and independent contracts
- Internal investigative reports and/or disciplinary reports
- Witness testimonies
- Event set up, design and safety protocols
- Photographs of the scene
- Photos and videos captured by attendees
- All other pertinent evidence
By seeking immediate legal assistance from Parker Waichman LLP, we can take prompt action to preserve important evidence and locate and depose critical witnesses before their memories fade and/or they relocate and become unavailable, thereby ensuring you have the greatest opportunity for obtaining the compensation you need.
Do I Have Grounds for a Claim?
If you or a loved one have been hurt or experienced property loss or emotional trauma after an injury event at a public gathering, rally, or concert, your ability to recover claims against the crowd organizer or event planner, or any public or private entity that bore some responsibility for the crowd’s safety and orderliness will depend on a number of factors.
Important factors used by our law firm to investigate your claim may include:
- The type of injury or loss you sustained
- Whether the cause of your injury or loss was reasonably foreseeable to those having control over the event or authority over the crowd and its actions and movements
- What precautions and preventative measures (if any) those in charge of the event took to prevent harm from occurring to you and/or your loved one
- Whether the event organizers had sufficient security and/or medical personnel on scene to prevent disruptions and preserve the peace at the gathering
- What actions those in authority took on scene to safeguard your safety or the safety of your loved ones and whether those actions were reasonable under the circumstances
Reasonable Safety Precautions that Should be in Place During an Event
An investigation into the event or gathering is oftentimes necessary to determine who bore what responsibilities for organizing the event and safeguarding the people who would attend the event. While not all dangers can be foreseen and harm may befall anyone at a public gathering in spite of organizers’ efforts to prevent such outcomes, recent events especially have made it reasonable for organizers to develop and implement plans to:
- Ensure those entering the venue are not carrying weapons, incendiary devices, or other items or substances that could harm others
- Select a venue that is sufficiently large for the size of the anticipated crowd and to locate and secure overflow areas or turn individuals away if the crowd becomes too large
- Monitor for dangerous conditions or events that threaten the safety of the crowd (such as a shooter from outside the venue or an individual attempting to incite a riot) and take decisive action to take control of the crowd and keep the crowd safe
If a public or private entity or individual neglects its duties and responsibilities by failing to take reasonable and appropriate preventative and reactive measures, you may be entitled to recover compensation from that individual or entity if your injury or loss was caused by such failure.
Process of Settling Premises Liability Injury Case
Your event crowd personal injury lawsuit begins with an investigation into the circumstances and facts that led to your injury or loss. If it is determined that you may have a viable claim for damages against one or more individual(s) and/or entity or entities,
- A lawsuit is filed in the appropriate jurisdiction – usually the jurisdiction where the event was held and your injury occurred.
- The other party or parties (the “defendant(s)”) are notified of your lawsuit.
- The process of discovery begins in earnest. In this context, “discovery” refers to the process of locating and deposing important witnesses, obtaining expert opinions, uncovering crucial evidence, and exchanging such information with the other party. Discovery can last for months or even years, depending on the complexity of the event at which you were injured.
Preparing for Trial
If your case does not settle, the matter will be scheduled for a trial. At a trial, you (the injured victim or “plaintiff”) must generally establish through evidence and testimony that the event planner or organizer (or some other person) failed to take reasonable steps to prevent or mitigate a foreseeable hazard and that you suffered some injury or loss as a result.
Crowd/Event Management Injury Claim FAQs
Why should I consider a lawsuit against a crowd’s organizer or event planner if someone hurts me at a gathering?
Individuals who commit crimes against others are certainly responsible for their own actions, but those who invite others to gather together for any reason also have legal obligations and duties to those who attend as well. Moreover, the perpetrator of violence or destruction at an event often does not have the financial resources or insurance to compensate you for your harm.
What should I do after I am injured at an event, rally, or concert?
If you are hurt at a public event or other gathering, you should first obtain medical evaluation and treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Your health and safety are paramount. Do not accept a settlement or sign any paperwork offered to you by the event’s organizers without first carefully reviewing the matter with an attorney. Signing such documents or accepting a settlement may permanently preclude you from obtaining the compensation you truly need to address your financial and noneconomic losses. As soon as you are able to, make an appointment with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to discuss your next steps.
How Can an Event Crowd Personal Injury Attorney Help Me?
From investigating the causes and contributing factors of your injury to preparing the necessary legal paperwork to begin the claims process to taking the necessary steps to avoid dismissal of your claim, it takes a considerable amount of legal knowledge, diligence, and skill to take your case from start to finish.
Failing to take the appropriate action or step at the right time can result in the denial or dismissal of your claim without an award for compensation being given to you. Moreover, there are few good resources available for individuals who attempt to present a claim that is as complex and fact-specific as those claims for damages from injuries at crowded places or events.
Experienced Premises Liability Attorneys for Improper Event Crowd Management
If you or a loved one were hurt or experienced a physical or emotional loss while attending a public gathering, concert, rally, or other similar event, take action today to protect your rights. Contact Parker Waichman LLP to discuss your situation and what courses of action are available to you.
We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. To schedule your free case evaluation or to obtain additional information, complete our online form or contact our experienced legal team at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).