A New Hampshire woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she suffered disabling dental injuries after she was punched in the mouth during an out-of-control mosh pit in which she was attacked by a drunk 19-year-old.
That young man was arrested and later convicted of assault. But that didn’t help the victim, who says her teeth were loosened in the incident. She’s suffered numerous surgeries and infections. She can’t chew hard food. She can’t chew chewy food. She can’t chew at all with her front teeth. Eventually, she’s going to need false teeth and there will be extensive ongoing treatment needed. She says the punch also exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
So who pays for this? She could certainly take to task the 19-year-old, and it’s probable he’d be found to have some liability. But whether it actually be worth it financially is questionable. He’s unlikely to have many personal assets, and he probably doesn’t have any insurance that would cover an incident like this.
For several well-grounded legal reasons, it’s likely plaintiff would be more likely to succeed in a premises liability claim against the property owner and/ or manager.
Here’s why: Property owners and managers owe a duty of care to lawful guests to make sure their property is reasonably safe and free of foreseeable dangers, especially those that aren’t open or obvious to those guests. The band that was playing that night was a ska punk rock band from Boston.
Fans of this type of music sometimes engage in a type of dance called “moshing.” This is where they all slam their bodies against one another in a large crowd. It’s usually done to music that is characterized as more aggressive – like ska. So one could argue then that the venue, aware of the type of band and the anticipated number of fans, could find it foreseeable that moshing might take place. And in that case, the property owner would owe a duty to make sure there was enough security on hand to deal with unruly crowds.
Plaintiff alleges this is where the venue failed in the duty it owed to her. She recalled she was located toward the stage left area when a group of fans started moshing. She said she tried to move away from the frenzy, but the crowd kept getting more and more out-of-control. A number of patrons, she said, were aggressive, unruly, drunk and threatening. That behavior, she said, should have been an obvious clue to staffers that the situation was out-of-control. But none of the “bouncers” on site moved to stop the mosh.
That was when the young man punched her in the mouth with a great deal of force. Other patrons notified the staff, who in turn called police.
In her lawsuit, plaintiff names the casino and the ballroom where the event was held as defendants in the case. She alleges the property owners had inadequate security to handle the crowds, which were known to be rowdy. Plus, the venue had full alcohol service, and negligently served alcohol to her underage attacker. She said the venue even continued to serve him after he was already drunk.
While the summer concert season is over, there are still plenty of musical events in downtown Asheville. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are on hand to discuss with victims liability issues resulting from injuries that occur at these events.
Contact our Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Mosh pit injury spurs Gilmanton lawsuit, Sept. 9, 2015, By Bea Lewis, TheCitizen.com
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