Concert Injuries: Who is Responsible?

Concert Injuries: Who is Responsible?

Concert Injuries: Who is Responsible?

 

Concert injuries fall under the broad category of premises liability.  Who is liable may depend on a couple of factors. Namely, how the victim suffered their injury and who controlled the facilities or the activities that produced the injury.  Responsibility for injuries at a concert may extend to the owner of the facilities, concert promoters, and security services. In rare occasions, it may even extend to the entertainers.

Injuries such as falls due to defects in stairways, walkways, or other parts of the facility, would ordinarily fall on the owner of the premises. But, if the use of the facility amounts to a short-term lease of the premises, the promoter who became a short-term tenant may be liable. This is the case if the promoter modified the premises in any respect to accommodate the concert.  Some such situations may give rise to shared responsibility between the owner of the premises and the promoter.

Many concerts are held outdoors. So, a concert goer should assume the inherent risks of weather or natural conditions on the land.  Still, known defects in the land that the landowner is aware of may give rise to liability for injuries.

Liability for Concert Injuries

Promoters and perhaps even the entertainers may share responsibility for injuries that are incited at the event.  Crowd control, fires that may be started by some defect in the equipment owned and maintained by the entertainers, inject an entirely different potential for injury and liability.  If, for example, a rock star hurls his guitar or an amplifier into the crowd in a moment of frenzied celebration, the concert goer struck by the tossed guitar may be looking directly at the artist for compensation.

Such claims originate with a broad area of legal liability known as “premises liability”.  All landowners are liable for conditions on the premises that present a risk of injury to patrons. This assumes, of course, that the landowner knows or has reason to know of the dangerous condition.  A landowner can avoid liability in one of three ways:

  • If the landowner can correct a condition, such as cleaning up a spill, repairing broken stairs or securing handrails, owners of realty are obligated to undertake such repairs.
  • Some conditions cannot be repaired, or at the very least, there may be some delay before repairs can be made. In such circumstances, the landowner must close off or barricade the dangerous situation to prevent access to the dangerous area.
  • Still other conditions cannot be timely repaired or barricaded. In such instances, a landowner has an obligation to warn patrons of the danger so the patron can themselves.

Did They Know About the Problem?

At the heart of premises liability is a requirement of “notice”.  In short, unless the injury is actively inflicted, such the hurled guitar, the owner or operator of the concert must know about conditions that exist/are created.  Once known, or the circumstances indicate the owner/operator should have known of a given defect, the duty to protect commences.

The majority of concert goers enjoy injury to nothing more than their hearing. Nevertheless, there have been notable examples of injuries and even deaths at concerts.  Know your rights if you or a loved one have suffered injury while attending a concert.