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Can You Sue a Venue for a Stage Diving Injury?

Can You Sue a Venue for a Stage Diving Injury?A fan suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was left partially paralyzed after the lead singer of a band “stage-dived” on top of her during a New York show in May 2024.

The woman underwent surgery for a spinal cord injury following the accident at a Trophy Eyes show in Buffalo, NY. Trophy Eyes is an Australian punk band. The venue’s general manager issued a statement that crowd-surfing was forbidden at the venue and signs were posted “everywhere.”

What is stage diving?

Stage diving occurs when a performing leaps from a concert stage onto the crowd below. Many musicians, including the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, and Iggy Pop were known for stage diving into the audience at rock concerts. Stage diving is common at punk and metalcore performances.

Audience members also take part in stage diving by crowd surfing their way to the stage and then leaping back in to the audience. At some shows, stage divers will jump into the crowd feet first, kicking and punching violently. Stage diving usually happens at smaller venues, as larger concert venues generally erect barriers between the stage and the floor.

Can you sue for damages incurred in a stage diving accident?

There have been lawsuits filed by fans claiming serious injuries—broken neck, brain trauma, paralysis—resulting from stage diving incidents. When determining whether to file such a lawsuit, the severity of the physical and economic injuries must be compared to the potential expense of the lawsuit. However, serious injury claims can result in millions in damages.

  • A man who sustained injuries during a 2017 hardcore punk and music event was awarded $2 million in a 2020 settlement with the concert’s organizer. The man, a 46-year-old retired police officer, was injured at an Asbury Park concert when a stage diver landed directly on his head, causing him to sustain temporary paralysis and a severe spinal cord injury.
  • In 2018, a jury awarded a woman $3.8 million in a lawsuit against the musician DJ Skrillex. Skrillex leaped on top of her from a stage during a performance in 2012, hitting her in the back of the head and causing her to suffer a stroke 16 days after the show. The total award was $4.5 million, but the court deducted $675,000 due to the woman’s contributory negligence. She had been to a previous show where Skrillex jumped from the stage and therefore assumed the risk of injury because she stood near the front of the crowd where she knew she could be injured. Skrillex and Lost Boys Touring Inc. were told to pay $3.4 million and the remaining $450,000 was assessed to Belasco Entertainment Theater Inc.
  • A mother of three was awarded $1.4 million in 2014 after filing a lawsuit against the lead singer of the band Fishbone. The singer stage dived and landed directly on her, causing the woman causing the woman to lose consciousness as she hit the floor. The band continued to perform despite the injury. Fishbone has allegedly been stage diving since the 1980s and has been sued at least one other time when an audience member suffered a comparable injury. The award included $1.1 million in compensatory damages against the singer, the band, and a business partner, and $250,000 in punitive damages against the singer. After the injury, the victim continued to suffer from memory problems, shoulder pain, and autoimmune issues that led to lupus.

Who can be held liable for a stage diving injury?

Multiple parties could be held responsible for an injury resulting from stage diving, including the venue, band, individual performers, the performer’s management, or a third party event planner. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, multiple parties could be liable for some or all of the victim’s injuries. Anyone involved in the show could face potential liability.

What should you do if you’re injured at a concert venue?

If you’re injured at a concert due to stage diving or for some other reason, there are some steps you should take:

  • Seek medical attention immediately. Having a medical professional examine you and officially document your injuries will help your attorney build a solid case should you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
  • Ask someone to take pictures. Since people rarely go to concerts alone (or without their phones), ask your friends or family members take pictures of your injuries, the scene, witness information, and any other details that document the event.
  • Create a detailed record of the events. In the days following the injury, it might be difficult to remember the actual sequence of events. Try to put the details in writing while they’re still fresh in your mind, and contact witnesses to get their recollections. Doing this will strengthen your case if you decide to sue the venue.
  • Collect all possible evidence. Gather any evidence available, including camera surveillance footage from the venue or footage shot by those near you on their phones. Consider speaking with an attorney about the best way to go about obtaining surveillance footage.

If you are injured due to the negligence of an individual or organization, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. However, without the assistance of an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney, bringing a claim can quickly become complex and overwhelming. The process and requirements may vary significantly depending on who is at fault and the type of injury sustained.

At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we focus on large scale litigation involving serious injuries, including those suffered while enjoying a concert. We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we will work hard to win maximum compensation for you. If you sustained a stage diving injury in Georgia, we want to help. Call us or fill out our contact form. We have offices in Atlanta and Savannah, and answer the phone 24 hours a day.




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