Stage collapses resulting in deaths have dominated the news lately, and are prompting the filing of wrongful death lawsuits.
This reported case was filed by the family of a woman killed by a stage collapsing on her while she was attending a concert. The 42-year-old woman was treated to front row seats for the event as a birthday gift from her life partner, a 49-year-old woman.
A brutal wind came up suddenly and the stage collapsed on the women, severing the 49-year-old’s toe, causing severe bruising, a broken clavicle and many deep wounds needing stitches, and killed the other woman. The family, which included the 17-year-old daughter of the dead woman, chose to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the basis that they felt this tragedy could have been prevented. Evidence suggests that the stage was flimsy from the start when it was being erected and that those putting it up should never have been allowed to finish setting it up. In other words, it was an accident waiting to happen.
Screams tore through the grounds when the wind hit, and the stage lifted off its foundation like it was made of matchsticks. It may as well have been made of matchsticks the way it crumpled and burst apart. Those sitting in the front rows had no place to go and nowhere to hide for protection. They just had to hope they made it out ok.
The weak and shoddy stage was just the tip of the iceberg in the chain of events that led to the 42-year-old’s death. Just prior to the devastating collapse, the national weather service for the area had issued warnings of impending severe weather – severe enough that the concert ought to have been rescheduled. The facts were clear and indicated that mixing an outdoor concert with ugly weather was asking for trouble. Attending emergency medical personnel could not understand the venue continuing the event when they had knowledge of the approaching storm.
Is this a case of negligence? Quite likely, as this kind of accident was not unforeseeable, nor was it an unpredictable, off the wall, strange thing that just happened. Based on the poor construction of the stage in the face of a catastrophic storm with the potential to kill, someone will be held responsible.
Have you been in a similar situation and do not know where to turn? Make your first call to an experienced Austin injury lawyer and find out what your rights are, how the evidence is preserved, what damages may be claimed and how a trial may proceed.
Brooks Schuelke is an Austin personal injury attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC. Contact an Austin injury lawyer at Civtrial.com or (512) 476-4944.
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