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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. Labels Encourage Remy's Gangsterism?
Highest Court New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Music Publisher(s)
Record Label(s)
Remy Ma
Universal Music Group
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Defendant is Remy Ma, a female hip-hop artist allegedly known for her violent personality and music. Plaintiff was at Ma's birthday party, and, after a dispute erupted between the two, Ma shot Plaintiff in the stomach at close range. Plaintiff sued Remy Ma, but also included Ma's record label, music publisher, and assorted other music entities. Regarding the associated companies, Plaintiff alleged they negligently promoted her antisocial and dangerous behavior, and that signing her to a record contract constituted negligent hiring. Prior to this opinion, Ma was convicted of criminal assault, among other things. After Ma sought to stay this suit pending appeal of the criminal conviction, which the court denied (the verdict in the criminal trial was final, not pending, even if appeals were possible), the court found that the assorted music entities were not Ma's employer and could not be held liable for Ma's persona or behavior. Even if Plaintiff could show that the Defendants were Ma's employers, the contracts defining their relationship allegedly expired before the shooting incident, so there could be no liability anyway. - LSW


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3. Violent Nu-Metal Nuts Abuse Fans
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Washington
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Music Proprietor(s)
Other Shinedown
Trapt
Short Description Plaintiffs, two concert-goers, were assaulted at a concert featuring Shinedown and Trapt (though the court spelled both their names wrong) and subsequently sued Defendant, the owner of the concert venue where they were assaulted, for negligence. Plaintiffs argued that Defendant owed them a duty to protect them from assault since the assailant had been previously kicked out of the venue for violent conduct and overagressiveness in the venue's "mosh pit", thus putting Defendant on notice of the danger that the assailant posed to Plaintiffs. The court found that no authority existed to support Plaintiffs argument, and affirmed the lower court's dismissal of their claims against the venue owner. Judgment for Defendant. - SKR (ed. LSW)


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4. Motley Crowd vs. Motley Crue
Highest Court M.D. Florida
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Live Nation
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Other Aerosmith
Mötley Crüe
Short Description At an Aerosmith and Motley Crue concert in Florida, a member of Motley Crue (though the opinion doesn't say who) allegedly leapt from the stage and assaulted the Plaintiff, a first-row fan. Security guards allegedly joined in and assaulted Plaintiff as well. Plaintiff sued various parties involved in throwing the concert for negligence, negligent hiring, vicarious assault liability, and premises liability. However, Plaintiff's complaint was apparently horribly written: he did not allege any relationship (employment or otherwise) between Defendants and the band members and security guards; he did not plead the basic elements of negligence; in short, he botched every count. The court held Plaintiff failed to state a single cause of action and dismissed the complaint, but gave advice for an adequate complaint. - LSW


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5. Temptations Fan Tripped at Gig
Highest Court N.D. Mississippi
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Harrah's Entertainment
Music Proprietor(s)
Temptations
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description A person who tripped over a light cord at a Temptations Concert sued the Temptations, their agent, and the casino. Apparently, the house lights had been turned back on at the end of the show. The agent for the band was granted summary judgment against the tort claims. There was no evidence the agent had responsibility for or knowledge of the light cords emplaced in the venue. - JMC


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6. 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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7. No Parking At N SYNC Gig = Lawsuit
Highest Court Appellate Court of Illinois
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
N SYNC
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff was a concert attendee for an N SYNC concert at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Assuming the trip would take 25-30 minutes, Plaintiffs left at 6:30 for the 7:30 concert, but were not parked until 9:30, after encountering traffic and parking issues well beyond what they'd anticipated. Plaintiff sued, attempting to bring a class action lawsuit on behalf of the ticket purchasers who'd missed portions of the show (some of whom wrote letters), alleging contract breaches and common law consumer torts. After Plaintiffs failed to agree to Defendants' proposed settlement, the court refused to certify the class, holding there were no predominate issues of fact between those who arrived five minutes late and those who missed the entire show. The band members were not susceptible to personal jurisdiction, and, furthermore, Plaintiff's claims were substantively inadequate; there were no contractual guarantees or misrepresentations to form the basis for Plaintiff's complaints. Icing on the cake: Plaintiff already won a small-claims arbitration award against them for the price of the tickets. Perhaps assuming 25-30 minutes to drive to and park at a 40,000 person event was a bit unreasonable. - LSW


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8. Officers Hurt Stones Fan at Gig
Highest Court S.D. Ohio
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Business Entity of Artist(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Police Officer(s)
Other Rolling Stones
Short Description Concert-goer bought merchandise at concert, but was stopped by plainclothes officers intent on stopping bootleggers. After officers failed to identify themselves, Plaintiffs physically defended themselves and their goods. In trial, jury found for Plaintiffs, who then brought action against Rolling Stones as employers of the officers. Dismissed. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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9. Great White in Deep Shit
Highest Court D. Rhode Island
Year Ended 2006
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Estate of Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Anheuser-Busch
Clear Channel
Great White
Individual(s)
Insurer(s)
Multiple Corporation(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Manager(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Radio Station(s)
Record Label(s)
Shell Oil
State Entity and/or Official(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description After Great White's pyrotechnics caught fire in an outrageously under-prepared venue in Rhode Island calledThe Station, over 100 deaths resulted, as well as several hundred injuries. No surprise then, it also resulted in about as many lawsuits. This entry covers a large swath of these suits, each of which addresses various parties and their roles in the horrific accident, including the band, their companies, state entities, the venue and others. While not everyone was liable, the venue was certainly subpar regarding building codes, and the band were a bunch of jack-asses (not necessarily legally). Lighting off fireworks in a club with less than 500 people. Seriously. Oughtta be ashamed. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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10. 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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11. Injured Fan Sues Band
Highest Court Superior Court of Connecticut
Year Ended 2005
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Creed
Music Manager(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Radio Broadcaster(s)
Wind-Up Records
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff was an attendee at a Creed concert who was injured by moshing fans after the crowd's behavior apparently spiraled out of control. Plaintiff sued the promoter, venue, and individual band members for injuries inflicted by third parties at the concert, alleging that high energy music causes violent behavior and that the band not only knows this, but actively incited the crowd but failed to respond appropriately. Though the Plaintiff's cause of action was framed as a breach of Creed's duty to "anticipate" such physical activities among the audience (the band allegely actively sought its fans to behave recklessly), the court denied the band's motion for summary judgment for slightly different reasions; actions by band members could reasonably be viewed as contributory factors to the injury, and they may not have responded appropriately when the crowd's behavior became dangerous, and thus might have breached a duty of care. - LSW


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12. Jadakiss & Styles P Stab Fan?
Highest Court Superior Court of Connecticut
Year Ended 2005
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Jadakiss
Styles P
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description It's understandable that rappers must maintain a front of "street cred" to keep up with the competition, but this is an example of how it can go too far for what appears to be no reason at all. Plaintiff stole Jadakiss's jacket during a meet and greet in the parking lot following a concert, though Plaintiff alleged it was during "horseplay," not seriously intended as theft. Jadakiss, Styles P, and their entourage chased and caught Plaintiff (which seems to work against Plaintiff's horseplay defense), then beat him and--here's where it gets ridiculous--violently stabbed him. Not only did Plaintiff's stab wounds require hospitalization, the laceration was "so severe that [his] intestines protruded from his abdomen." Following the incident, Plaintiff suffered severe physical handicaps as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the court's findings of fact. Defendant artists later referred to the incident in music released subsequent to the stabbing, assumedly boasting of their conquest. It is thus no surprise, with apparently uncontested facts as damning as these, that the court found for Plaintiff on his personal injury claims, and awarded over $700,000 damages. - LSW


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13. "The Man" vs. 2 Live Crew (IV)
Highest Court Fifth Circuit
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs 2 Live Crew
Concert Attendee(s)
Promoter(s)
Defendants County Entity and/or Official(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Rap group members, individual concert-goers, and concert promoters sued a sheriff's department for violation of First, Fourth, and Fourteenth amendment rights when the sheriffs set up road blocks and checkpoints outside of a concert planned in Mississippi. The court granted qualified immunity to the sheriffs on some, but not all of the constitutional claims. While several opening acts are reported to have performed, 2 Live Crew did not perform at the Mississippi concert. - SKR


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14. Disabled Fan: "Garth Discriminates!"
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Washington
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Brooks, Garth
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description A wheelchair-bound Garth Brooks fan purchased tickets for a specially-designated section of the stands reserved for patrons in wheelchairs; the rows immediately in front were roped off to preserve a view of the stage. "Floor tickets" allowed entrance to the area directly in front of the stage, but did not provide seating. Wheelchairs were traditionally not allowed there, because patrons normally stand up, blocking the view, and dance around, creating a hazard. When Plaintiff left the concert early, alleging she couldn't see the stage, she sued everyone involved, including Brooks, for discrimination on account of her handicap. Unfortunately, Plaintiff's argument is rather circular. Though a specific area was blocked off for handicapped patrons, and local regulations require handicapped seating to have unobstructed views of the stage, Plaintiff seems to say that, because the floor area would have been the "best" view, she was entitled to it. This is not the case. Brooks requested the area immediately in front of the stage for personal use, thus no one could use it (including people not in wheelchairs), and the concert provided adequate alternatives, abiding by local regulations in the process. Plaintiff failed to present evidence sufficient to avoid summary judgment, and failed to file a continuance when appropriate to seek additional discovery requests from Defendants. - LSW


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15. Constitutional Violations at Concert?
Highest Court S.D. Ohio
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Music Promoter(s)
Police Officer(s)
Other Cash Money Millionaires
Short Description When Cash Money Millionaires canceled their concert, Plaintiffs decided to leave before the crowd got rowdy. A fight broke out in front of the venue, and someone seems to have shouted that Plaintiffs had guns in their cars. Police officers stopped Plaintiffs and searched them and their car. Plaintiff's suit against concert promoters and police officers for violation of civil rights was dismissed. - LSW


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16. Old Timer Sues for Loud Rock Show
Highest Court New York Supreme Court
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Concert Promoter(s)
Fogerty, John
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Here's one for record books. Plainitff is 50-year-old attorney who allegedly attended his fair share of rock concerts back in the day. However, he swears, none of them were ever as loud as was the John Fogerty show he'd recently attended at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. After asking numerous concert employees to turn the loud concert down, Plaintiff left the gig and sued the concert promoter, proprietor, and John Fogerty himself for permanent hearing damage. Noting this to be the only case of its kind in the history of rock n' roll, the court tried to feign sympathy, but found Plaintiff's complaint absurd. Not only did Defendants have no duty to observe specific volume levels, they had no notice of which volumes would be considered too loud. (The amps go to 11 for a reason, after all). Furthermore, by attending and staying through much of the concert, Plaintiff clearly assumed the risk, even if he left early. Nothing in the complaint states anything valid. It's a pretty great case though. - LSW


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17. Manson Fan: "No Crotch Please!"
Highest Court D. Minnesota
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Marilyn Manson
Music Promoter(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description It's always amusing how shock rock antics that seem so shocking when they occur simply sound absurd and hilarious when discussed in court opinions. This suit, perhaps more than any other, provides an example. During a concert performance, Marilyn Manson shoved his crotch repeatedly into the back of a first-row fan's head. The entire ordeal was caught on videotape, which apparently showed the fan smiling, "fist-pumping," and concluding the occurrence with a high five between the two. The fan, however, later sued for tortious conduct. In defense, Manson's camp pointed to Plaintiff's apparent approval of the behavior, as evidenced in the video. The court didn't agree, saying it was entirely possible "Plaintiff's apparent exultation during and in the wake of Manson's pelvic gyration was an attempt by Plaintiff to 'save face' in front of an enormous crowd." Thus, Manson's liability is up to the jury, says the judge. What's most disturbing is not that "the ol' crotch on the fan's head" is an actual cliche in the music industry, but that "the ol' fans want my crotch on their heads" is an actual defense musicians use. - LSW


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18. Injury at STP Show in Illinois
Highest Court Court of Claims of Illinois
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Music Promoter(s)
Police Officer(s)
State Entity and/or Official(s)
Other Stone Temple Pilots
Short Description Stone Temple Pilots fans sued the State of Illinois and a music promoter for injuries sustained at a concert held on state fairgrounds, allegedly inflicted by moshing, crowd surfing, and other common activities at grunge gigs. Plaintiffs' claims against the promoter (JAM) had been previously dismissed, so the remaining issue was whether Illinois owed duties to prevent such actitivies, to protect audience members from them, and to provide "adequate security." Plaintiffs were unable to show thjat the state owed "law enforcement duties" to do so, and the court similarly held that premises liability accusations failed. Though the law imposed a duty on Plaintiffs to warn and protect the audience from raucous crowd behavior it reasonably knew would occur, the audience was already invariably aware of it as well, and no evidence showed Defendants anticipated or responded negligently. There was no way Defendants could have predicted the enormity of the crowd and the intensity of its reaction. Though, perhaps, Defendants might be expected to be better prepared at future concerts, they can't be said to have been negligent here. Further, under a comparative negligence rubric, Plaintiffs failed to claim, much less prove, that they hadn't also anticipated the apparently inevitable danger flannel-clad crowds presented. Plaintiffs were at least as negligent as Defendants, if Defendants were negligent at all. - LSW


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19. Ruffed Up at the Black Crowes Gig
Highest Court Sixth Circuit
Year Ended 2002
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Police Officer(s)
Security Guard(s)
Other Black Crowes
Short Description Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence after allegedly being assaulted by security guards and police officers at a Black Crowes concert in Detroit, Michigan. Plaintiff was awarded $1.2 million by a jury at trial, and Defendant appealed, seeking a new trial and arguing that the jury award was excessive. The court denied Defendant's motion for a new trial and held that the jury award was not excessive. - SKR


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20. Dru Hill Fan Hurt at Show
Highest Court Court of Appeal of Louisiana
Year Ended 2001
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Insurer(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Other Dru Hill
Short Description An attendee at a rap concert injured himself while descending stairs during Dru Hill's performance. Plaintiff sued the concert's promoter and the city for negligence, but not the artist himself. Judgment for Defendants. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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