Stage barriers in Washington and throughout the country are a familiar sight at outdoor events, especially musical performances. Audience members frequently press against these barriers for a better view of the performers. Whether they succeed is a question that has never been conclusively answered. When the audience at a Saturday night performance at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle pressed against a stage barrier, the barrier collapsed and more than two dozen persons suffered injuries. No one commented on whether they achieved a better view.
The incident occurred during the last set of the performance by electronic artist, Jai Wolf. As concertgoers pressed against the barrier, it collapsed and fell on the audience. Twenty-five people had their injuries evaluated at the scene. Ultimately, four persons who were injured in the collapse were taken to Harborview Medical Center, where they were reported to be in stable condition.
The remaining victims were deemed not to require further medical treatment. The victims in this incident, even the four who were hospitalized, appear to have been very fortunate. The crowd did not panic and create a rush of trampling feet that could have increased both the number and seriousness of the injuries.
The exact nature of the injuries that required hospitalization are not yet known, but the four people who suffered those injuries may wish to seek money damages for their injuries. The proprietors of the festival and perhaps the owner of the barrier may face liability for failure to properly install the barrier or provide adequate warning about the dangers of pressing against the barrier.
Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a similar incident may wish to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for an analysis of the facts and estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.