Two women were injured at the TD Garden last week after being hit by protective netting.
The accident occurred when the netting, which is designed to protect fans from flying pucks, was being raised at the end of the game. The women were struck by the net’s metal frame. Though the women did not suffer life-threatening injuries, they were both taken to Mass General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
When are stadiums and arenas responsible for injuries to fans?
Millions of people visit stadiums and arenas every year to attend sporting events, concerts, and other spectator shows, and while these events are often fun and memorable, they can also be dangerous.
Because injuries at these events are almost inevitable, many owners and managing companies seek to mitigate these risks by adding a printed disclaimer to each event ticket. A disclaimer is essentially a waiver of legal responsibility for the venue whereby the purchaser understands the risk for injury and assumes accountability should he or she be hurt during an event. In addition to a printed disclaimer, venues who regularly host events, especially sporting venues, are outfitted with protective equipment to prevent spectator injury. At the TD Garden, the protective netting is designed to block pucks from flying into the spectator crowd.
Because ticket disclaimers and preventative measures do often waive responsibility, and courts disregard personal injury claims because of them, there are some exceptions. Personal injury and negligence claims can be filed if the injured party can prove that the owners of the sports stadium or entertainment venue did not take adequate measures to keep them safe. An example of a premises liability situation that does not fall under the “assumption of risk” disclaimer could include a faulty railing or broken steps that cause a fan to fall and become injured because of faulty property maintenance. In the case described above, the TD Garden is at fault because the netting was raised prematurely and struck innocent bystanders.
There are many other types of injuries that may not be included in the assumption of risk category including:
• Over-serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons
• Physical assaults and fan violence
• Inadequate security and lack of crowd control
• Improper lighting that causes bodily injury
• Slip and fall accidents on unmarked wet surfaces
• Injuries from thrown objects
• Falls from balconies or elevated heights that lack proper safety railings
• Parking lot and pedestrian injuries
• Food poisoning
• Stairwell incidents
• Elevator/escalator accidents
• Sexual assaults
Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe and free of hazardous conditions that could cause serious injury. If you or a loved one was injured while attending an event at an arena or sports stadium, do not hesitate enlisting the assistance of an experienced Boston Premises Liability Attorneys at the law offices of Altman & Altman. Through initial review of your case, our lawyers can determine whether you have grounds to file a claim against an owner of a venue for negligence and failing to protect your safety. Our team of seasoned attorneys has nearly 50 years of experience handling all types of premises liability cases, and we have successfully recovered millions in compensation for our clients. All initial consultations are free of charge and our lawyers are available around the clock to answer any questions you may have regarding your case.