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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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Negligence During Festival Season starstarstarstarstar


Miami`s festival season is in full swing and while these events are a fun way to spend the weekend, as a personal injury and negligent security attorney, John Leighton is reminded of the potential dangers these festivals can bring, particularly in the production stages. Festivals such as the Miami International Boat Show, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and Ultra Music Festival all take place outdoors and often require construction to take place in a very short amount of time. This can mean that assembly is rushed and done without following all regulations, which can cause people to get severely injured. Festivals draw massive crowds, which adds to the potential for injury. If planning and organization are not done properly, problems can arise very quickly due to overcrowding, alcohol, weather conditions, and negligence in security and preparation.

This past weekend Ultra Music Festival took place in Miami, and before the festival began there was an accident during the construction of one of the six stages when an LED screen came crashing down on four stagehands, sending three to the hospital. While the details behind the accident are still under investigation, should the injured workers choose to sue, they may be entitled to monetary compensation filing a claim under negligence, whether of another worker or the festival itself.

There are a number of factors that can make these festivals risky. Two years ago at a Sugarland concert at the Indiana State Fair a stage collapsed on the crowd, killing five people. The stage same down after severe weather hit the area and while concertgoers were warned of the impending storm, they were also told that the show would go on. After months of investigation, prosecutors faulted the fair for a lack of clear safety protocols and confusion over who was in charge. Reports also said the stage design was grossly inadequate and the band`s manager is also under investigation for negligence after demanding that the concert go on despite severe weather conditions.

This brings to mind the issue of wrongful death. Over the years, John Leighton has fought for many families of those who have been killed through negligence. When there is carelessness and an inattention to detail involved in the production of stages, tents, scaffolds, screens, and heavy equipment at festivals and fairs, it can result in serious injuries and fatalities.

While an extremely meticulous inspection of the grounds needs to take place before festivals begin, a contingency plan also needs to be implemented by the organizers to plan ahead for any complications that may arise, to avoid dangerous situations, injury and possibly death.