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1. A Perfect Negligence Case
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Aramark
Clear Channel
Concert Promoter(s)
Hyatt, Corp.
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other A Perfect Circle
Icarus Line
Short Description Injured audience members can be quite a liability. However, there are certain legal protections that prevent them from extorting Defendants for ludicrous reasons. Plaintiff was injured at a concert by A Perfect Circle, during the opening act, a lesser-known L.A. band called The Icarus Line. After the audience purportedly booed the band, its singer launched water bottles into the crowd, one of which hit Plaintiff, who was injured and supposedly became disabled. Plaintiff did not sue the band, however, but numerous entities related to the show's organization, alleging negligence, gross negligence, and improper security or preparation given the circumstances of the concert. However, well-established tort principles prevent Plaintiffs from sustaining negligence actions against Defendants for the tortious or criminal conduct of third parties, unless certain specifications are met, such as the third-party conduct being unreasonable and foreseeable or the Defendant having actual knowledge of the conduct. In this case, the venue proprietor's motion for summary judgment was granted by the trial court and Plaintiff appealed. The appellate court affirmed, finding that the show's proprietor had no reason to foresee the band's behavior; the security service was an independent contractor hired by the proprietor, not an employee or agent; and the proprietor did not know and did not have reason to know of the actions that injured Plaintiff. Furthermore, Plaintiff's motion for a continuance was also denied. - LSW


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2. Metallica's Mosh Pit Liability (II)
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Indiana
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Lawyer(s)
Other Business Entity of Artist(s)
Metallica
Miller Brewing
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Sports Organization(s)
Talent Agent(s)
Short Description Plaintiff in the underlying lawsuit was a concert attendee, personally injured in the mosh pit of a Metallica concert, who sued the band, the venue, and others in Ohio more than five years earlier (see "Metallica's Mosh Pit Liability (I)"). In the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs' lawyers, seeking to litigate outside their licensed jurisdiction, sought local counsel to aid in litigation. After the case was apparently settled, the Plaintiffs' original lawyers seem not to have reimbursed their local associated counsel, since the latter sued the former for nonpayment of legal fees, asking them to provide security for an attorney fee lien on the proceeds of the settlements. However, while case law supports the entrance of an attorney fee lien, it does not justify requiring security (in the form of a posted bond paid out-of-pocket), and thus the original lawyers will not be required to do so. Had the action been filed prior to settlement, perhaps a prospective lien could have ensured payment to the local counsel, but given the facts in the instant case, it would not be appropriate. The trial court's order requiring the posting of a bond was reversed. - LSW


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3. Nelly's Staff Whoops On a Fan
Highest Court Superior Court of Connecticut
Year Ended 2006
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Nelly
Security Guard(s)
Security Service(s)
Universal Music Group
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description As owner of the "Chocolate City News, Plaintiff sent an employee photographer to Nelly's concert in Connecticut, whereupon the employee was purportedly assaulted by concert staff and rendered unable to photograph the concert. The photographer filed his own suit, but Plaintiff also sued (Defendants included Nelly, Universal Records, the City of Bridgeport, and the concert's proprietor and promoter), alleging essentially the same causes as his employee, including assault and battery, negligence, etc., which caused injury to his employee and economic injury to his business. All of Plaintiff's complaints were dismissed by the court; Plaintiff had failed to properly and/or timely serve numerous Defendants, and furthermore, none of his causes of action alleged valid legal theories. He was essentially suing for negligent damage to his business, but Plaintiff had not proved (not could he prove) that Defendant owed him or his business any duty, or that damage to his business would be a foreseeable consequence of their actions. - LSW


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4. Paramedic Hurt By Durst's Goading
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Michigan
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Medical Professional(s)
Defendants Business Entity of Artist(s)
Limp Bizkit
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description In a somewhat awkward decision (in our opinion) the Michigan court of appeals held Limp Bizkit owed no duty to a paramedic who'd been intentionally kicked in the head by one of Bizkit's fans, after lead singer Fred What's-His-Name invited audience members on stage during the performance. Relying on previous decisions relating to mosh pits at heavy metal concerts (see "Rock Fans Hurt by "Sod-Throwing"), the court held the band had no duty to anticipate the intentional acts of third parties. Interestingly, Bizkit was well known for inciting riots, particularly at Woodstock '99, when their song "Break Stuff" purportedly caused the melee that likely put an end to further entries in the "Woodstock" franchise. The court here held that Bizkit's duty (as with the promoters/proprietors/etc.) is limited to expediting their response to such activities, not preventing them. Judgment for Defendants, unfortunately. - LSW


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5. Metallica's Mosh Pit Liability (I)
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Ohio
Year Ended 2001
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Business Entity of Artist(s)
Metallica
Miller Brewing
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Sports Organization(s)
Talent Agent(s)
Other Suicidal Tendencies
Short Description This case consolidated two different lawsuits by two different Metallica fans, both alleging their injuries sustained in the "mosh pit" at the band's concerts resulted from Metallica's negligence (i.e. the band incited the crowd's violent behavior). In the original suit, a fan known to friends as "Crazy Indian" was rendered paraplegic during a fumbled "stage-diving" attempt while drunk and shortly after drinking from a "mysterious blue bottle" passed around the crowd. Plaintiff in this suit was injured at a Metallica concert during the opening set by the Suicidal Tendencies, and sought to intervene in "Crazy Indian's" suit. The court denied his request, and the original suit settled and was placed under protective seal. Plaintiff's injury resulted from voluntary moshing combined with a congenital heart defect, both causing extensive injury. Regarding Plaintiff's attempt to un-seal discovery documents from the "Crazy Indian" suit, the court held there was no unqualified public right to access discovery materials. Further, the two suits were not so similar as to require intervention. While both parties recited similar negligence accusations, Plaintiff wasn't injured while Metallica was playing, and facts were otherwise quite different. Plaintiff is free to pursue his own suit, but canot intervene in an already settled and protected suit brought by another. Litigation regarding the setttlement to this suit continued in "Metallica's Mosh Pit Liability (II)." - LSW


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6. Coked-Out Fan Sues for Injury
Highest Court E.D. Pennsylvania
Year Ended 1998
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other Mötley Crüe
Short Description Motley Crue's fans are a motley crew in and of themselves. In this hilarious case, Plaintiff was quite obviously a burnout and an idiot; he broke his neck while drunk, coked out, standing on a 4-foot-hight barrier, and resisting security guards' attempts to bring him down and prevent him from rushing the stage. He even punched one of the guards in the face. Furthermore, his neck was already fragile from a moronic attempt to jump across an eight foot pit at a construction site a year earlier (again while drunk). At that's not even an exclusive list. Jeez. The court was very kind, and excluded the cocaine and other evidence from trial. Nevertheless, unsurprisingly, the jury found that any negligence on Defendants' part was inconsequential. Plaintiff was remarkably negligent himself. According to the court, Plaintiff's lawyer was pretty bad too, spending many hours researching a futile argument against the court's rather routine practice of trial bifurcation, presenting appeals on issues never objected to at trial, and seeking to admit expert testimony from someone without knowledge of the subject of his testimony. All evidence was strongly, undeniably in Defendant's favor. - LSW


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7. Searches at Young Gig Constitutional?
Highest Court Tenth Circuit
Year Ended 1995
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Academic Institution(s)
Individual(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other Young, Neil
Short Description The defendant promoted a Neil Young concert held at a stadium on the University of Utah's campus. The promoter contracted with a security company who had a policy of patting-down all "'rock', [sic] 'rap' or [] 'go-go' concert [goers]." The University had hired the same security company, but had never contracted for pat-downs. The class of plaintiffs claimed federal and state constitutional violations for the pat-downs, noting some of the security personnel wore University jackets. The court granted summary judgment finding there was no "nexus" between the government and the challenged conduct and that the plaintiffs failed to show other state or joint action. Mr. Young, not a party to this suit, has Canadian citizenship. - JMC


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8. Fan Injured At King of Pop's Gig
Highest Court Fourth Circuit
Year Ended 1993
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants MJJ Productions
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff was waiting to use the restroom at a Michael Jackson concert in Landover, Maryland, when a couple nearby had a physical altercation that resulted in Plaintiff being knocked over and injured. She received a "Smith fracture" in her right arm, and sued just about everyone involved in putting on the concert, including Jackson's corporate entity, the promoter, proprietor, et. al., alleging her injury was a direct result of Defendants' negligence. The court held for Defendants. Landowners only owe duties to exercise reasonable/ordinary care and to protect invitees from dangers either known or discoverable through reasonable care. Regarding third parties' tortious conduct (as here), landowners are held to higher standards of care only if a "special relationship" exists, as with common carriers. None of the Defendants had a reason to anticipate this behavior, and all reasonable care was taken, including the hiring of more than 200 employees to monitor events, and no "special relationship" existed. - LSW


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