Ringside Injuries: Who’s to Blame?

Event operators and facility owners can be held liable for the injuries fans suffer when attending concerts, competitions, and sporting events. These entities have a duty of care to attendees to ensure they are adequately protected from injury. When they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent injury, they neglect their duty to protect fans.

Liability of Facility Operators and Event Organizers

Facility operators and event organizers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect event attendees. This includes checking the site for physical defects and potential hazards. Problems need to be repaired or rectified prior to guests’ arrival. 

It is also imperative to erect and maintain barriers that properly control the flow of people through the facility and protect them from injuries while watching the event. Erecting safety fences to deflect road debris during car race or from a foul ball at a baseball stadium is a good example.

Event organizers and facility managers must also erect signs warning attendees of potential hazards. These signs must be readily visible, properly illuminated, and unobstructed. Further, it is incumbent upon them to erect barriers and install locks to deny attendees access to potentially hazardous areas.  

Additionally, event operators, facility managers, and property owners must ensure adequate security before, during, and after the event. This helps protect attendees from acts of violence and theft. It also helps ensure the physical security of possessions and property in parking lots.

Third-Party Liability

Other attendees, vendors, and others at the event may be liable for the injuries an attendee suffers. For example, a driver speeding through a parking lot, a rowdy fan who has had too much to drink, or a negligent staff member who causes injury to the attendee. If the individual suffers from food poisoning, a vendor may be liable for the unsafe handling of concessions. Similarly, a product manufacturer whose food, seat, or safety barrier causes injury for the production and sale of a substandard good.

When individuals suffer personal injuries at a sporting event, concert, etc., it is important to thoroughly document the injury. Gathering eyewitness statements, police reports, emergency room medical records, etc. can establish the cause and extent of the injuries. This information can help a personal injury lawyer determine which parties are at fault and the correct course of action to pursue.