Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cincinnati Bengals sued by injured woman

CINCINNATI — A woman says two increasingly intoxicated fans at a Cincinnati Bengals game fell on her, breaking her nose and finger and causing other injuries.

The woman and her husband are suing the Bengals, the beer vendor and the county-owned football stadium for negligence, alleging they continued to serve alcohol to "noticeably intoxicated" fans at a 2009 NFL game.

Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan said Tuesday the team wouldn't comment on pending litigation. Neither would the stadium vendor, Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., company spokeswoman Dave Freireich said. Hamilton County officials didn't immediately return an after-hours phone call Tuesday seeking comment.

Rebecca Dunn and husband Curtis Dunn of Owensboro, Ky., say the two men sitting behind them were served several drinks at Paul Brown Stadium before they fell on her, breaking and gashing her nose, breaking her finger, and causing bruises, sprains and other injuries. Their lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for past and future pain and suffering and medical treatment that they say has cost $20,000 so far.

The couple also are suing the fans, identified only as John Doe and John Doe II. The lawsuit accuses them of battery.

"As a direct and proximate result of their intoxication, (the two men) lost control and fell" on (Rebecca Dunn), causing "catastrophic injuries" that required nose surgery and continuing orthopedic and other medical treatment, the lawsuit says. The incident also broke her $700 Oakley sunglasses and caused the couple to incur other expenses – they had to spend the night in a downtown hotel because the stadium garage closed after the game before they could retrieve their car, the lawsuit states.

The Dunns also are seeking punitive damages. A court hearing on the lawsuit, filed Nov. 29, is scheduled for next month.

The Bengals and other NFL teams have tried to control unruly fans through such efforts as the Bengals "Jerk" line, which fans can call during the game to report bad behavior.

From the Huffington Post.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No Waffles Please

A fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been barred from the Air Canada Centre. The fan who was so upset with his team's performance that he threw waffles onto the ice during a Maple Leaf's game. While the fan's conduct was inappropriate, should he have been banned from the facility forever?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spectator injury case moves forward

Pickel v. Springfield Stallions, Inc., 398 Ill.App.3d 1063 (Ill. App. Mar. 23, 2010). Plaintiff, a spectator at an indoor-football game, was injured when a player fell over the stands and collided with the plaintiff. The plaintiff brought tort claims not against the player, but as a result of the negligent maintenance and failure to warn spectators of the possibility of injury. The trial court found in favor of the defendants on the grounds that they owed no duty because of the inherent risk involved with watching the football game. The court here, however, agreed with the plaintiff's argument that the precedent for the trial court's decision came from cases wherein the plaintiff was a participant not a spectator. Accordingly, the court determined that the defendants owed a duty to take reasonable action to prevent unreasonable risks of harm. Therefore, the court remanded the case back to the trial court for action consistent with its ruling.

Thus, when a fan is injured, a team/facility would need to show the law as applied to other spectators and what risks they might be willing to take, not what risks a participant accepts.

Case involving injured fan on bleachers

Pryor v. Iberia Parish Sch. Bd., 42 So.3d 1015 (La. App. Jun. 16, 2010). Pryor, an elderly woman, attended her grandson's football game at a stadium operated by the school board. As a result of a defective step in the bleachers, Pryor fell and broke her leg. She brought a tort claim against the school board alleging negligent maintenance of the stadium bleachers. The trial court concluded that while the school board acted negligently in its maintenance of and failure to warn about the defective step, that, on balance, the school board did not act unreasonably. The present court overturned the lower court on the grounds that the trial court, when it determined the reasonableness of the school board's action, considered the bleachers as a whole without examining the specific defect. As a result, the court concluded that not only was the school board negligent, but that it acted unreasonably. The court awarded a total of $300,000 to Pryor for her injuries.

Fan Violence/Stampede

At least 150 injured in stampede after soccer game
By the CNN Wire Staff
December 11, 2010 -- Updated 1910 GMT (0310 HKT)

A government official believes bottle-throwing sparked the stampede.
At least 25 of the injured were police and security officers.
Stampede crushed people against a fence that then broke.

(CNN) -- Jordan is launching an investigation into a stampede after a soccer game that left dozens of people injured Friday night, a government spokesman said.

Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said the incident occurred after at game at Amman's King Abdallah Stadium.

At least 150 people were injured, and 11 were admitted into various hospitals for treatment, Safadi said. At least 25 of those injured were police and security officers. Three police cars, 8 civil defense cars and other private cars were damaged in the melee.

Safadi said that the incident began when some of the crowd in the upper seating level began throwing bottles at fans of the losing team, who are required by regulations to leave the stadium first to avoid interaction with fans of the other team. Police officers tried to intercede, but a crush of people pushed fans against a fence that eventually broke from the pressure.

Fan Deaths/Injuries

U.S. fan fatalities since 2007


Nov. 28 — A man, 23, died after falling 35 feet from a ledge outside Soldier Field in Chicago and landing on a small roof. The incident was ruled an accident, with speculation being that he stepped onto the ledge to smoke.

Nov. 21 — A 2-year-old boy died after accidentially falling nearly 30 feet from a luxury box at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

April 25 — A man, 51, died three weeks after falling 15 feet over a railing at Miller Park in Milwaukee and landing on the field. He was attempting to catch a foul ball during a game between the Brewers and Chicago Cubs.


April 15 — A man, 36, lost his balance trying to slide down an escalator handrail at Shea Stadium in New York and fell two stories to his death. Another man died in an escalator accident at the same stadium in 1985.

May 21 — A man, 25, died after falling four stories inside Turner Field during a game between the Atlanta Braves and N.Y. Mets. Witnesses said the man was sliding on a handrail when he slipped off .


Dec. 10 — A man, 31, died at Monster Park in San Francisco after falling 20 feet from an upper concourse during a 49ers-Minnesota Vikings game. Witnesses said he tried to jump on a ledge to sit and fell off.

Two fans were seriously injured from falls at Pittsburgh venues in 2009. In August 2009, a 63-year-old man toppled over a railing along the first base line while trying to get a foul ball at a Pirates game. Two months later, on Oct. 18, a Steelers fan fell about 20 feet over an upper-level railing at Heinz during a Steelers game. Both men survived.

In 2010 a toddler fell to his death from a luxury box during a Lakers basketball game Nov. 21 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. A week later, a 23-year-old man died after falling two stories at Soldier Field during a Bears game in Chicago.

Fan Arrests in MA

Chief changing stadium game plan
By Bill Stedman
Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010 10:23 AM EST

After Monday night's game, Foxboro Police Chief Edward O'Leary said he will be making changes in parts of his security plan at Gillette Stadium for the next cold-weather night game, Sunday, Dec. 19, against the Green Bay Packers.

While the New England Patriots were busy putting up 45 points against the rival New York Jets Monday, local police in and around the stadium were taking 112 fans into custody -- 97 placed in protective custody for public intoxication.

State police placed another five people in protective custody and took them to the nearby Foxboro Barracks.

"That's the most for a football game in a long, long time," said a surprised Foxboro Police Chief Edward O'Leary, who is also in charge of police security in the stadium. "We have not had over 100 custodies for a game since I've been chief in 1985."

O'Leary noted that, for a single stadium event held in one evening -- not an all-day concert such as the New England Country Music Festival -- having 80-90 people in custody is a high number.

"I was talking to some key people after the game, and we will have some changes ready for Green Bay in two weeks," O'Leary said. "We will have to cover some things we didn't anticipate."

That includes the fact that almost half of those taken into protective custody, O'Leary said, were picked up during screening as they tried to enter the stadium in a drunken state.

The unexpected number of early custodies swamped the police holding compound at Gillette, run by Sgt. Allan Haskell, and caused backups all night, O'Leary said.

There were still protective custody cases in the compound as late as 2:30 a.m., the chief reported, and police were stilll processing custodies at daybreak at the Public Safety Building.

He attributes the lopsided score (the Patriots won, 45-3) as one reason why many fans lost focus on the field of play and created problems in the stands during the second half.

He also pointed to the evidence of the type of bottles scattered in the parking lots after the game to indicate that many fans arriving in the frigid temperatures were drinking hard liquor while tailgating, rather than beer. "That's a quicker hit (than beer) and changes people's behavior," O'Leary said, noting that he's seen a trend at concerts in particular of more hard alcohol being consumed.

O'Leary said he had an emergency medical technician assigned to the stadium compound to assess those brought in, and that seven highly-impaired fans had to be transported by ambulance to area hospitals. He noted that many of those picked up for intoxication during the game were still drunk in the morning and were "sleeping it off" in the Public Safety Building's holding cells until noon, when they could pass the blood alcohol test and be released.

Many people believe that drinking alcohol helps warm the body, perhaps prompting the added consumption for these winter night games. Monday's temperatures dropped into the low 20s, with a wind chill far below that, and the Dec. 19 game against Green Bay (to be broadcast on NBC) promises similar conditions.

O'Leary worries that, because people are not working Sunday, they will be arriving earlier to tailgate in the parking lots for the Sunday game, and that may increase alcohol abuse.

Criminal arrests

Also Monday night, 15 fans were arrested on criminal charges, including two charged with assaulting a police officer. But O'Leary reported no officers were injured.

David A. Champiney, 58, of 292 Main St. RS, Montgomery, was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer and interfering with the arrest of another person. Sushant Koruru, 29, of 118 Forest St., Stamford, Conn., was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and disorderly conduct.

Of the several fights in the stands during the game, none were serious, he said. Eric Lee Branch, 46, of 112 Plymouth St., Bridgewater, was arrested and charged with assault.

Three persons were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest: William C. Houlihan, 26, 1339 Park St. #2, Attleboro (also charged with malicious destruction of property worth more than $250); Peter J. O'Conner, 46, 274 Sycamore Drive, Holden; and Keith J. Houlihan, 25, 18 Corbin St., Franklin.

Another seven were arrested and charged only with disorderly conduct: Phillip John Tripoli, 25, 11 Thorough Court #8, Natick; Philip D. Martin, 41, 56 Van Horn St., West Springfield; Jonathan Cornell, 28, 233 Kispert Court, Swansea; Ryan A. Vanderstreet, 26, 287 Dorchester St. #2, South Boston; Javier Molina, 22, 96 Urban Ave. #2FL, North Providence, R.I.; Tino M. Cabral, 22, 127 Francis Ave., Pawtucket, R.I.; and Alexander H. Cronin, 23, of 33 Station Drive, Dover, N.H.

There were few arrests in the parking lots before the game, and only one charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol: Samuel Skinner Bacon, 18, of 8 Berkley Place, Cambridge. He was also charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and procurring alcohol for minors.

Ice battle

Injuries and arrests after ice throwing, fights at Apple Cup

By William Dow
December 6, 2010

While the Apple Cup always sparks tension between UW and Washington State University (WSU) fans, ice thrown at the field made the game particularly hostile and dangerous this year in Pullman, Wash.

Thirty-four people were treated at an ambulance on Saturday night and eight were taken to the hospital; it is unclear how many of the 34 were injured from flying ice or from fights. Spectators throwing ice also targeted Semisi Tokolahi, a UW defensive tackle who broke his ankle during the game, while he was being taken off the field on a cart.

Darin Watkins, WSU’s executive director of External Communications, said Sunday afternoon that “dozens” of people were arrested for throwing ice at the game. Watkins said no exact number could be given because the numbers were still being tallied by the police department.

Balls of ice thrown were from sections throughout the stadium, but they originated primarily from two: the section of UW fans in the east end zone and the WSU student section on the north end. Subfreezing day-long temperatures left ice on the ground around seats during game time, which ultimately was thrown at people on the playing surface.

Not surprisingly, the primary targets for the spectators were the fans and staff of the opposing team, including the UW band when they were preparing for the halftime show near the WSU student section and the men carrying the “Cougs!” flags when they would run near the UW section. For the last touchdown, the Cougars’ flaggers didn’t run near the UW section, unlike the first several times.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Car Enters Crowd

Racing car rams into crowd, kills four in Pakistan
By Awais Saleem, Islamabad, Dec 5
A racing event in Pakistan's Rawalpindi city Sunday evening turned tragic when a car lost control and rammed into the crowd, killing at least four people, including the driver, media reports said.

The race had just started when the driver of one of the cars lost control and broke the security barrier to hit the crowd gathered to witnesses the event, Sama TV reported. The driver and three spectators died on the spot while two others were injured, it added.

"The organisers did not take the requisite permission for holding the event," Rawalpindi District Coordination Officer Imdad Bosal said.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Black Friday Give Away

Colorado Mammoth (NLL) players, coaches, dancers, and team mascot treated Black Friday shoppers to hot chocolate and coffee at select Ultimate Electronics stores in the Denver metro area last week. Some of the Mammoth representatives were out as early as 2:00 am to greet early morning shoppers with the hot beverages.

There were several incidents involving shoppers not acting appropriately, and here is one well played video about a shopper acting up at a store.