Abels & Annes

Chicago injury lawyers discuss concert premises liability as Lollapalooza comes to town

The Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago’s Grant Park is drawing more than 75,000 people a day this weekend. (Attorney Gary Annes of Abels & Annes attends Lollapalooza almost every year).

The Chicago Tribune blog reported the death of a 39-year-old concert goer on Friday. Rain followed by searing heat may have caused the man to collapse near the stage.

The personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes know that serious injury at such large concerts are a frequent occurrence and are often reported as the fault of the fans in attendance. But injuries can also result from the negligence of a concert promoter or employee, leading to a premise liability claim to recover damages.

Premise liability lawsuits seek to recover damages for innocent parties who are injured as a result of negligent concert planning and/or the negligent actions of concert workers.

The emphasis on concert safety hit the news in the days leading up to Lollapalooza after a stage collapsed at the Calgary Alberta Music Fest, according to the Chicago Indie Music Examiner.

Of course there are numerous examples of high-profile tragedies at rock concerts: The 1969 free Rolling Stones show at Altamont Speedway where security, which turned out to be hired gang members, kicked a man to death; Pearl Jam’s Denmark fan stampede which trampled eight people near the stage; Great White’s pyrotechnic accident in Rhode Island that killed 100 and led to premise liability lawsuits that recovered millions in damages.

And each year Lollapalooza makes news for the show — three days, eight stages and more than 130 bands — and accidents and injuries among concert goers. The Music examiner reports attendants at rock concerts are 2.5 times more likely to be injured than at other music shows.

The study also reports that most common accidents are dehydration, dislocated joints, bumps, bruises, breathing problems and fainting. Even classical music shows have their fair share of injuries and have the highest rate of heart attacks or cardiac arrest. Gospel/Christian shows hold the record for the most visits with medical personnel.

The Music Examiner also reports on several lawsuits over the years stemming from injuries at Chicago concerts:

-A woman is suing Lupe Fiasco claiming an injury in 2007 when the star “fell on her” during a Chicago show. Her lawsuit is asking for $50,000 in damages for lost wages, physical, and emotional trauma.

-In 2002, a fan seeing U2 at Solider Field slipped in urine in the bathroom and broke his leg.

-In 1998, a female fan was hit in the face with a CD being tossed into the audience and suffered an eye injury.

Make no mistake about it: these concerts are big business, bringing in millions of dollars to organizers. At $80 a ticket, 75,000 people pay $6 million to get into one day of this event.

Concert goers have a right to expect basic safety and services. And event participants who are seriously injured or killed have a right to seek damages from negligent parties.