Concert season is warming up, and it’s a good time to point out that festival and concert injuries can sometimes be compensated via Maine premises liability claims, which assert negligence by venue owner, promoters and sometimes even the entertainers themselves. Portland injury attorneys in Maine know that while most people go to concerts for a good time, it can unfortunately end badly when patrons are injured.
One such incident in Maine occurred last October, when a Portland concertgoer was injured at State Theatre during a show by Dirty Heads. Authorities confirmed the victim was stabbed and 2,000 people inside were evacuated. The theater has a “No Weapons Allowed” policy, so it’s unclear how someone was able to smuggle a knife inside.
Maine injury attorneys know many times what contributes to concert injuries and festival injuries is the combination of large crowds in a tight space, an atmosphere that is emotionally-charged, performers pushing the limits to ever-more-risky displays to wow crowds and the common presence of drugs and alcohol. There have also been issues with unstable pavilions and railings, inadequate security, etc. Not all injuries that occur at concerts will necessarily result in a valid personal injury claim. For a person who is injured while engaging in an activity they know to be risky (like diving in a mosh pit), it may be difficult to prevail in making a claim, unless the venue or promoters have had ongoing problems with such injuries and fail to take reasonable action to mitigate the risks. Most of the time, these claims will be asserted under premises liability law due to an alleged dangerous condition on site. The venue owner, property manager and promoters may all have a duty to those who enter to ensure the site is free from any condition that could reasonably be foreseen to cause injury to concertgoers. This stems from the broader duty of all property owners to exercise reasonable care in order to prevent harm.
For instance, if a property owner knowingly allows the crowd size to exceed the safety limits of the building capacity and someone is injured as a result of that (i.e., people knocked down, trampled, crushed), that sort of incident is likely be considered reasonably foreseeable, something a person of ordinary intelligence could reasonably have anticipated would result in injury.
Similar reasonable foreseeability might be established in the event of a third-party violent attack if, for instance, such concerts or venues are known to have problems with these issues and the venue/promoter/manager failed to ensure there would be adequate security on site, like checking patrons for weapons. They may not entirely eliminate the risk, but the question is whether the measures they do take are adequate. Usually, criminal conduct of a third party is considered a superseding cause, or one that will relieve the landowner of liability. However, if patrons can show insufficient controls and security measures contributed to the injury and/or that more security officers would have prevented such an incident, injured concertgoers may be able to establish liability.
It’s likely defendants in these cases will argue there was no way they could have reasonably foreseen the danger, and this can be a challenging defense to overcome. Having an experienced Portland injury attorney to help with your case can make all the difference.
If you are the victim of a Portland, Maine concert accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 1-800-490-5218 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Witnesses surprised by stabbing at Portland concert, Oct. 22, 2018, CBS-13 WGME
More Blog Entries:
Torts in Sports: Maine Injury Liability for Youth Sports Assaults, Nov. 2, 2018, Portland, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog