Passions run high at sporting events. Unfortunately, disputes among fans sometimes escalate to tragic levels at sporting events. The rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants has been well-documented. In September 2013, a Dodger fan was fatally stabbed after a game in San Francisco between the two teams. San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said that the victim was with his father, older brother, and two other people close to the Giants’ ballpark when they began to exchange words with some Giants fans. The suspect’s father told the Lodi New-Sentinel that his son was jumped during the fight, and he stabbed the victim in self-defense after exchanges between the parties at the sporting event. Source
The incident follows an attack on a Dodgers fan in March 2011 after a game between the Dodgers and Giants in Los Angeles. The victim suffered a fractured skull, was left unable to walk and lost several motor skills. According to NBC Bay Area, “He has nerve damage in his left arm, which prevents him from lifting it or opening his hand. He also needs more surgery for bone growth. And he still requires 24-hour care.” Source
Of course, sports-related disputes are not limited to just baseball games. During the Philadelphia Eagles football game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 19 at Lincoln Financial Field, three rows of attendees were removed from the stadium following a brawl among fans. The five-minute fight involved both men and women. Disagreements between rival teams’ fans are inevitable.
In the event that you are injured as a result, you should know how to proceed. “A spontaneous event may be hard to hold the stadium operator liable,” said Bruce Ginsburg Esq. of Ginsburg & Associates in Philadelphia, PA. “However, when someone who is truly disruptive or drunk hurts someone, the operator or security contractor may have allowed this to escalate, which may create their liability. A stadium, like any bar, may be held responsible when someone who is visibly intoxicated injures innocent patrons.” Even if you are not directly involved in an altercation at a sporting event but suffer an injury as a result of a faulty part of the arena, you should be aware of how to proceed. “When you are at a sporting event try to document what caused your injury,” Ginsburg said. “If it is a broken chair or a piece of the stadium falls, try to get a photo; and make sure to report the event to an usher and get his or her name,” he added.
While sporting events should be fun, staying vigilant is important, particularly if you find yourself in the midst of a heated atmosphere. Ginsburg & Associates specializes in personal injury cases and can help you with incidents related to a serious injury, wrongful death, and other matters. If you or someone you know has been injured in a fight or as a bystander, please contact our office at (215) 564-4400. We can provide a free consultation.