A 22-year old woman was injured late Friday night when she fell two stories down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park.
The victim was with a group of people when she fell from the fourth floor and landed on top of the elevator car, which had stopped on the second floor. According to investigators, authorities received a call reporting the fall just after 11 p.m. when the Red Sox game had ended. The fall reportedly knocked the victim, Lizzy Scotland, unconscious and she was not responsive when firefighters arrived at the scene. Scotland was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess with serious injuries.
Investigators are still trying to determine how the woman was able to get through the doors.
“We don’t know if both doors opened, or one door opened, or if the bottom of the door gave way and she fell through that spot. We’re looking at all the equipment,” Boston Fire Department Spokesperson Steve MacDonald said in a statement.
The Red Sox organization, in a statement released on Saturday afternoon, acknowledged that the woman suffered “serious injuries,” and said team personnel had worked alongside first responders Friday to help her. A Red Sox spokeswoman also said that the remaining elevators in the park were inspected before Saturday night’s game as a precaution. The incident is not considered to have criminal intent, and is currently deemed as an accident.
Premises Liability Accidents
When incidents like this occur, the first questions people usually ask are “Why did this happen?” and “Who is responsible?” Additional concerns such as a similar type of accident occurring again are also raised.
Owners and managing companies of these large stadiums are fully aware of the types of risks posed to individuals who visit their establishments, and often tickets to sporting events or concerts are printed with a disclaimer and assumption of potential risk statement. These statements essentially mean that by purchasing the ticket, the guest understands the risk for injury and assumes responsibility should he or she be injured at the stadium. The statements also relieve the stadium’s owners or managers from assuming legal liability for the injured person.
In addition to the disclaimer on tickets, venues that regularly host sporting events are outfitted with protective equipment to prevent spectator injury. At Fenway Park for example, there is a protective net behind home plate and surrounding sections to protect fans from wild pitches and foul balls. And at the Bruin’s home ice rink at the TD Garden, there is protective glass as well as netting surrounding the ice to shield spectators from flying hockey pucks.
But while ticket disclaimers as well as preventative measures serve to protect venues from legal responsibility should someone be seriously injured, and courts typically disregard personal injury claims because of that rule, there are some exceptions. Personal injury and negligence claims may be filed if an 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 particular case mentioned above, investigators will try to determine whether there was something faulty with the elevator doors that could have caused the young woman to fall and injure herself. Additionally, investigators will try to determine if alcohol was a factor in the incident and whether the individual was over-served while she attended the game at Fenway.
Cases involving stadium incidents tend to be extremely complex and it is most advised for people who have been involved in a stadium accident to consult with an attorney who specializes in handling these types of cases.
If you or a loved one was injured while attending an event at an arena or sports stadium, call one of the experienced Boston Premises Liability Attorneys at the law offices of Altman & Altman. Upon a thorough evaluation of your case, our lawyers can determine whether you are eligible to file a negligence or premises liability claim against the owner or managing company of the venue at which you were injured. Our team of seasoned attorneys has nearly 50 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases and lawsuits, including premises liability, and we have successfully recovered millions in compensation for our clients. All initial consultations are free and our lawyers are available around the clock to answer any questions you may have regarding your case.