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Band held liable for injuries at Philadelphia concert

If you go to a public event such as a concert, where perhaps hundreds of people have gathered to enjoy a show, each patron of that show should be able to count on the event organizers and performers to provide an environment that is reasonably safe. If an event organizer or a property owner fails in this duty, and if a person suffers serious injuries as a result, then the injured party should be aware of the options for holding the responsible parties liable for damages.

At a 2010 concert in Philadelphia, the lead singer of the band Fishbone reportedly dove from the stage and into the crowd, landing on a woman who suffered a broken skull and a broken collarbone. The music venue was operated by the University of Pennsylvania, and the woman settled injury claims with the university and a number of other defendants. Only recently, however, did a judge rule that the band owes $1.1 million in compensation to the plaintiff.

According to the judge, Fishbone's lead singer, Angelo Moore, has not stopped diving into crowds and has not shown much remorse after the woman's injuries. In addition to the $1.1 million, Moore will have to pay punitive damages totaling $250,000.

The judge also pointed out that the singer's stage-dive knocked the plaintiff unconscious, and she fell to the floor. The band kept playing, however, "as if nothing had happened."

No one wants to go through life worrying about what dangers lie around every corner. Fortunately, most of us are able to avoid unsafe situations that we might not have predicted. Occasionally, though, people do get hurt through no fault of their own, and in these cases, it is important for people to be aware of their right to hold negligent parties accountable.

Source: CBC News, "Fishbone loses $1.4M lawsuit to woman injured by stage-diving," Feb. 13, 2014

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Gregory R. Gifford
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