PHILADELPHIA – Sixteen plaintiffs allegedly injured in the collapse of a railing at a concert featuring rap music stars Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg in nearby Camden, N.J. in August 2016 are pursuing damages against concert promoter Live Nation National Event Service and Khalifa himself.
The plaintiffs filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 9 versus Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. and Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. both of Beverly Hills, Calif., Live Nation Mid-Atlantic, Inc. of Houston, National Event Service, Inc. of Yeadon and Cameron Thomaz (the given name of Wiz Khalifa), of Canonsburg.
The plaintiffs all attended the concert featuring Snoop Dogg (previously dismissed from litigation associated with the incident in question) and Wiz Khalifa on Aug. 5, 2016, held at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, N.J.
The lawsuit claims a railing in extreme disrepair collapsed, causing dozens of patrons to plummet onto a walkway about 10 feet below and event staff be crushed by the very same railing and patrons, causing all involved to suffer a multitude of injuries.
“The collapse occurred due to a poorly-maintained guard rail at the venue, the poorly-selected stage location and the inadequate crowd control measures in place at the venue,” the suit says.
According to the lawsuit, Live Nation had been put on notice that the railings which separated the lawn from the pavilion at the venue were not adequately secured and its mortar was cracked, per a photograph taken shortly after its collapse.
Though repairs were made to the railing within the year prior to the concert, the suit claims they were not extensive enough – with an added level of danger presented by the 10-foot drop-off on the other side of the railing, where the defendants allegedly placed a second stage.
As the lawn area has no seats or aisles, concertgoers at BB&T Pavilion overpopulate certain areas of the venue, according to the lawsuit.
“Immediately before the collapse, the artists can be heard yelling, “Everybody in the m-----f---ing grass, bring your a-- down here.” This resulted in the inevitable situation where concertgoers moved as commanded and rushed towards the railing area above the moat near the stage as soon as the artists began to perform, leading to collapse,” the suit says.
“There was no barrier between the crowd of concertgoers on the lawn and the railing, which on the edge of a 10-foot drop-off, allowing concertgoers to be egregiously and outrageously exposed to a significant danger and hazard,” the suit adds.
Among the 16 plaintiffs, who all claim to have sustained serious injuries, the various litigants allege they suffered spinal injuries, concussions, lacerations and contusions, leg and knee injuries, plus many others of a physical nature, in addition to ones of an emotional, psychological or orthopedic designation.
The suit accuses the defendants of not securing the premises, inciting the crowd to a dangerous level, failing to maintain crowd controls and failing to minimize the extent of the damages among the plaintiffs, in addition to numerous other charges.
For individual counts of negligence from all plaintiffs versus each defendant, the plaintiffs are seeking damages, jointly and severally, separate sums in excess of the jurisdictional threshold in compensatory, delay and punitive damages, and bring this action to recover same.
The plaintiffs are represented by Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Andrew R. Duffy, Jeffrey P. Goodman and Michael A. Budner of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, in Philadelphia.
The plaintiffs are Mikala Cannone of Williamstown, N.J., Madeline Cusack of Ocean City, N.J., Rachael Denning of Hatfield, Jacqueline DeVuono of Warrington, Karen DiLolle (parent/guardian of minor Nina DiLolle) of Haddon Heights, N.J., Phoenix Eberhart of Jenkintown, Edward France III of Blue Bell, Ryan Gacayan of Northfield, N.J., Max Keegan of Williamstown, N.J., Elizabeth Reyes (parent/guardian of minor Rachel Reyes) of Galloway, N.J., Frank Sobolewski of Glenside, Timothy Pyne Jr. of Williamstown, N.J., Felicia Gutierrez of Jamison, Darrien Johnson of Collegeville, Latifah Hakim of West Chester and Christina Brown of West Chester.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170900610
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org