Are Concerts Safe? A Spate Of Lawsuits Raise Questions About Security

Chris Harris of the Hartford Advocate is reporting that "on October 3, 1998 — during Radio 104's 'Big Day Off' concert event — Courtney Tracy claims she was an unwilling crowd-surfer. She says she was dropped head first onto the pavement below, resulting in a fractured skull that left her in a coma.

"According to a lawsuit filed two years later against the Meadows, its parent company Clear Channel and the City of Hartford, the 16-year-old Bethany resident claimed that while standing next to a 'mosh pit,' she was 'lifted' from the ground by several of the venue's patrons and thrown atop the whirling mob of alternative rock fans in attendance that afternoon.

"The injuries she endured led to severe bruising as well as subsequent 'grand mal' seizures, migraine headaches and memory loss. The coma lasted three days.

"The lawsuit takes issue with the Meadows management for allegedly neglecting — through its security staff — 'to maintain sufficient control of [the concert's] patrons' and 'to undertake efforts to prevent unruly [crowd] behavior.'

"Furthermore the suit asserts that the Meadows 'fail[ed] to provide adequate security to control and monitor aggressive, unruly and potentially harmful behavior,' 'fail[ed] to instruct security personnel to prohibit unruly behavior' and 'fail[ed] to train employees to control and monitor aggressive, unruly and potentially harmful behavior.'

"Clear Channel and the City of Hartford denied the lawsuit's allegations, claiming that 'the plaintiff was negligent and careless and such negligence and carelessness on her part caused or was a substantial factor in bringing about her injury or damages' as she should've considered the risks associated with crowdsurfing.

"According to Tracy's attorney, Patrick Tomasiewicz, her case is scheduled for trial this October in Hartford's Civil Court." Read more.

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