The Attorneys of Freeman & Freeman, LLP Comment on Recent Attacks at Pro Sports Venues

Share Article

In recent years, several serious injuries to spectators have been reported in and around professional sports venues before, during and after games. The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys of Freeman & Freeman explain how these cases may be grounds for premises liability lawsuits.

these sports leagues obviously need to get the message about security. Whatever they are doing to insure safety should be analyzed and evaluated. If their efforts fall short, Freeman & Freeman can hold them responsible. Spectators should be confident that

In the last several years in California and throughout the nation there have been several tragic incidents involving fans at professional sports venues. One of the most recent examples involves an incident at the new San Francisco 49ers stadium as the home team challenged the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday October 5.

Tracey Kaplan of the San Jose Mercury News reports in her October 8, 2014 story ("Two men charged in Levi's Stadium attack") that two victims were severely beaten in a stadium restroom shortly before kickoff. One victim remains in critical condition after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Two men have been charged in the assault.

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Steven Freeman of Freeman & Freeman says, "if the victims' families pursue legal action against the 49ers, the venue management or other responsible parties including the two suspects, they may pursue compensation based upon premises liability. As in a slip-and-fall case where a store owner, for instance, allows a wet floor to cause injury, the owner of the business is responsible for their guests' safety."

Freeman explains that owners and managers of businesses have a "serious obligation to ensure their guests are safe. If they fail in that obligation, they should be held responsible. In this recent case, the details are still emerging but there are, unfortunately, many other instances in which spectators have been injured at games. In many such cases, attorneys will pursue compensation for their clients based upon premises liability law. Many times, they are successful in court or through an out-of court settlement because a business owner or management team was negligent."

Attorney Stan Freeman mentions the 2011 attack that occurred in the Dodger Stadium parking lot as an example to support Steven Freeman's point. In that case, "a man suffered a brutal attack and is now in need of round-the-clock medical attention. He is severely disabled and needs significant compensation for his long-term medical care and lost wages since he can no longer work. As seems fair, a jury awarded the victim, Mr. Stow, a substantial amount of compensation."

According to the Associated Press article published on ESPN.com ("Stow jury absolves Frank McCourt") in July 2014, the owner of the team at the time was not found liable in that attack that has left Bryan Stow with severe brain damage. However, the team's security apparatus was found to be negligent and a jury awarded Stow $14 million.

"That money will obviously not return the victim's health but it will help him live with dignity and comfort. And, perhaps more importantly," Stan Freeman says, "the jury's decision may send the message to sports teams: you must do more to protect spectators from violent attack. If they don't, the team may be held financially responsible."

That message, Steven Freeman says, is needed now more than ever. In the last several years, he says, "there have been several similar incidents. As personal injury attorneys who handle premises liability and negligent security cases, we know that people who go to restaurants, bars, grocery stores, gas stations and sports venues often suffer life-altering and life-ending injuries. We have seen these cases firsthand. Business owners must take responsibility and, with the amount of money that the NFL, MLB and other professional sports leagues have, they should commit more funds to protecting spectators rather than paying for settlements after tragedy."

Another recent example Steven Freeman brings up is the post-game attack in the parking lot of Anaheim's Angels Stadium ("Huntington Beach man beaten in Angel Stadium parking lot, in critical condition") in October of 2014. "How many is too many? I think one attack at a game is too many and more needs to be done to protect the public."

Between the 49ers incident, the Dodgers incident and the Angels incident, Steven Freeman says "it may not be an epidemic but these sports leagues obviously need to get the message about security. Whatever they are doing to insure safety should be analyzed and evaluated. If their efforts fall short, Freeman & Freeman can hold them responsible. Spectators should be confident that going to a sporting event does not carry the risk of getting attacked."

Share article on socal media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Brett Watson
@FreemanFreeman1
since: 10/2011
Follow >
Freeman & Freeman, LLP
since: 08/2011
Like >
Follow us on