Helen and Alfred Nicolosi brought a personal injury claim in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas against the Philadelphia Eagles, Aramark Sports and Entertainment, and Apex Security Group. Recently, counsel for the defendants has requested that the court impose sanction on the plaintiffs for failing to respond to requests for key evidence in the discovery phase. They request that the court fine the Nicolosi's $1,000 for failing to produce the medical records associated with the injuries incurred.
Helen Nicolosi had attended an Eagles game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field. She alleges that several fans became “severely unruly, loud, and intoxicated” after consuming significant amounts of alcohol. The fans were apparently acting offensively and stumbling around. At one point, a fan fell forward from seating located above Nicolosi and struck her, which created significant injuries. The claim asserts the defendants were negligent because they failed to provide adequate supervision and security.
The claim further states that the defendants should have removed the individuals from the premises in order to maintain a safe environment. The plaintiffs are seeking damages for loss of consortium in addition to economic damages in excess of $50,000. The defendants told the court that they have been unable to prepare their case because the critical evidence has not been received.
Other Recent Incident at Eagles Game
Plaintiffs Michael and M'Kale Kennedy recently filed a similar lawsuit seeking $1 million in damages following an incident at a game between the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. During the game, the couple was walking through the aisles when several unruly fans began harassing and spilling beer on them.
An altercation developed where Mr. Kennedy was beaten severely by a group of men. The security staff attempted to contact additional support; however, their radio devices were inoperable. The lawsuit asserts that the stadium personnel was negligent for failing to maintain “reasonable security measures.”
Sanctions According to Pennsylvania Civil Procedures
The Rules of Civil Procedure outline when it may be appropriate for the court to impose sanctions on a party in a civil action. Some of the key reasons include:
- A party fails to respond to written interrogatories, such as with answers or objections
- An entity or corporation does not “make a designation” regarding Rule 4004, which involves presenting copies of interrogatories to other parties involved in the action
- Failure to appear for a scheduled deposition
- A party, or someone representing a party, take action to deter a witness from appearing
- Upon request, a party fails to allow for inspection
- Fails to obey some other court order related to the discovery
A party that fails to comply with the rules of discovery may not be excused simply because they object. An objection must be properly stated in writing and presented to the court. The court may impose a temporary stay of action in the matter until the party has complied with the rules of discovery. Those parties who refuse to maintain compliance may be subject to a court order for appropriate punishment.