FedEx Field continues to be a bad facility. It’s also a liability. Literally.
Via John Keim of ESPN.com, four people injured when a railing collapsed after the end of a January 2 game against the Eagles have sued the Commanders and others. The plaintiffs seek the jurisdictional minimum of at least $75,000 each for asks for an award “in excess” of $75,000 per person for “loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering.”
The plaintiffs are New Jersey residents and Eagles fans. The collapse happened as the fans clamored to get the attention of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. He was nearly struck by the falling bodies and debris.
The plaintiffs contend that they continue to seek treatment for injuries that were suffered as a result of the fall. The alleged harm included cervical strains, muscle strains, bone contusions, cuts, headaches, and “other potential long-term effects, both physical and emotional.”
Although the various defendants will claim that they have no responsibility and/or try to blame the plaintiffs, the truth is that the fans aren’t responsible for doing what fans reasonably should be expected to do. After a game, fans move toward the tunnels in an effort to get the attention of players. The railings aimed at keeping the fans away from the players must be engineered to withstand the weight of people leaning against them.
“It’s beyond negligent to skimp on a safety measure in such a high-visibility, high-trafficked area,” said attorney Bob Sokolove, who represents the plaintiffs. “Whether it’s an NCAA game or a pro basketball game or the NFL, everybody comes to the tunnel where the players are coming out. The weight of everyone pushing forward to get a high-five or a wristband or whatever puts even more pressure on what otherwise were pathetic railings.”
For the plaintiffs, it becomes useful for the various defendants to fight among themselves on the question of who’s to blame. The reality is that someone is to blame. The best defense consists of trying to respectfully question the extent of the damages.
The best approach would include getting the case resolved. It’s good for no one to have depositions and documents and news reports advancing the perception that FedEx Field is a f–ked up facility.