There have been several high-profile deaths and injuries at professional sport venues. A fan fell over a low safety rail while trying to reach a ball thrown into the stands by a player; a 2-year-old fell to his death from a luxury suite; a spectator was injured when players got into a fight that ended up in the stands. Luckily, injuries are usually less tragic and dramatic.
Spectators at a sporting event are presumed to know that they are taking a risk of being hit by a bat, ball, puck or other flying object. It is part of the game, though owners do have a limited duty to provide protection at the most dangerous parts of a stadium or arena. However, if negligence is involved, it is a different story. Even though a sports spectator assumes risks by attending an event, a facility is bound to reasonably maintain a premises free of known safety hazards and provide a secure environment.
The question of liability enters into a case when the owner knew of a condition that posed an unreasonable and unforeseeable risk. Did a low railing adequately provide protection from a fall? Did unrepaired damage to the screen that was supposed to protect spectators from flying debris contribute to a fan injury? Or was there uneven concrete that caused a broken wrist and twisted ankle?
If you or a loved one Is injured at a sporting event, be sure to file an accident report with the facility, take photos, and see a physician right away. If you think your injury was a result of negligence on the part of the stadium or arena, contact our office to discuss your case.