Stadium Liability Lawyers

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What Are Stadium Liability Laws?

Stadiums are indoor and outdoor structures used for public events such as concerts, conventions, and sporting events.  Injuries that happen in sports stadiums fall into two different categories:

  1. Standard premise liability injuries such as slip and fall accidents
  2. Injuries that occur when fans are hit by a athlete’s ball or a puck

In both types of situations, who is liable for the injury all depends whether the guest assumed the risk of injury for coming to the stadium to watch the sporting event knowing that these injuries can happen or whether the stadium owner did not make the premises safe.

What Duties Does a Stadium Owner Have?

A stadium owner must exercise reasonable care to see that the stadium and the outside of the stadium are reasonably safe.  The owner must warn visitors of hidden dangers and provide safe seating.  An owner must guard against dangers if he has reason to believe they will happen.  If he does not, he is negligent.  Some possible injuries that may occur at stadium include:

How Can I Win a Stadium Liability Case?

In order to win a premise liability or stadium liability case against the owner of the stadium, the injured party must be able to prove that the stadium was negligent in some way. Just because the plaintiff was injured does not automatically make the stadium owner negligent and liable for the injury.  In order to prove that the stadium owner was negligent, you must prove that the owner knew or should reasonably have known that the stadium premises was dangerous, and failed to take steps to fix the problem or prevent the injury.

What Might Show Negligence by the Stadium?

To be negligent, the stadium owner must know, or should have known, about the thing that caused the injury, or the thing must be inherently dangerous.  Some common factors that suggest negligence include:

The owner does not have enough ushers, attendants, supervisors, or personnel to supervise the stadium.

What Are a Fan’s Legal Rights?

There are different standards of care imposed on the stadium owner depending on the event. For example, a baseball stadium is required to protect spectators behind home plate with a protective screen, but not at other places. In a hockey arena, the owner must take steps to protect all spectators from flying pucks. In contrast, a concert at a stadium may not require preventive actions. In addition, there are certain situations where the ticket would have a disclaimer that would state the fan’s rights and obligations trying to minimize any legal rights of the stadium owner. The fan at the stadium must not assume the risk of being injured and know what the risks of attending the events could be. However, having a disclaimer does not make the owner immune from any legal duty to make the stadium safe. The owner still has to take any reasonable steps to make the stadium safe.

What Limits on Liability Are There?

The negligence of the owner must cause the injury and not some other unforeseen event. For example, a panic in a a stadium is not foreseeable, so the owner is not liable for injuries suffered during a panic. Also, the owner is only responsible for unreasonable risks. That means that the owner does not have to fix every possible dangerous condition. If the condition is so obvious that everyone should know to avoid it, then there is no liability. Furthermore, if the defect did not exist long enough for the owner to possibly discover it, there is no liability.  Contributory negligence and assumption of risk may also limit recovery.

Should I Contact a Lawyer if I Have Been Injured at a Stadium?

If you have been hurt or injured during a visit to a stadium, contacting a personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful. A lawyer can help you pursue a claim based on your injury and recover damages to compensate you.

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Last Modified: 10-15-2015 06:17 PM PDT

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