On Aug 5, 2016, there was a concert featuring Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ. During the performance, a partition that separated the lawn from a second stage area for seating collapsed, sending guests falling to a concrete surface 10 feet below. Roughly forty attendees and three workers were among the injured, including one who endured a fractured spine.
A lawsuit was filed seeking recovery for unspecified damages in a Philadelphia court against Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Live Nation, who operated the venue. The suit is based on premises liability and cites a lack of necessary precautions in order to prevent the injuries. The plaintiffs' attorney says that his clients wish to prevent future accidents and recover financial compensation. Khalifa and Live Nation are still defending the case; however, Snoop Dogg was dismissed as a defendant because he resides in California, not Pennsylvania.
Apparently, the entertainers had encouraged fans to move closer to the stage, which caused a large shift in weight and momentum that placed the railing under considerable pressure. The show was approximately halfway through at the time of the collapse and was canceled amid safety concerns. Live Nation stated that the area where the collapse occurred has been secured and reinforced since. In addition, they have investigators and engineers attempting to determine the cause of the structural failure.
Another attorney says they are confident that they have satisfied all legal requirements for bringing the case in a Philadelphia court, although the incident occurred in New Jersey. Live Nation has a national business presence, but does considerable business in Philadelphia County. The court report for Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Broadus, Jr.) explained that all claims against him were dismissed with prejudice.
Pennsylvania Premises Liability Summary
An individual or business that possesses land has potential liability when injuries occur on their property. The extent of this duty to care by the possessor is based on the status of the individual at the time that the injury occurs. The classifications are an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. In this case, where the injury occurred at a concert venue, those injured would be considered invitees. An invitee is a visitor entering the property for a public purpose or those visiting a business. The land possessor is considered to be liable for injuries stemming from a dangerous condition on the property under the following circumstances:
- They are aware of a condition (or should have been) that exists which presents a risk of causing harm
- The possessor fails to demonstrate reasonable care to warn or protect an individual from the dangerous condition
- The condition is such that under ordinary circumstances it would not be apparent to the individual; in other words, the condition is not clearly obvious, thus the individual would not recognize it and protect themselves from it.