13 Football Fans Injured – Who’s Responsible?

On December 3, 2011, Oklahoma State University beat Oklahoma University to win the Big 12 Championship in football.  After the game, hundreds of fan rushed onto the field and pulled down one of the goal posts.  At least 13 people were injured during this celebration. Two people were critically injured when they either jumped or fell off of the high retaining walls that surrounded the field. They had to be transported by helicopter to nearby hospitals. The majority of the injuries occurred when people were trampled by the crowd.

When you hear about incidents like this, you may wonder who is responsible for these people’s injuries?

  • The school that hosted the game for not taking enough measures to keep patrons off the field?
  • The patrons who physically trampled others?
  • Or the people who were injured themselves for rushing the field?

The answer may be, “All of the above.”

When a person is injured in an incident that involves two or more parties, the injured person may be somewhat at fault for their injuries. In Arizona, the concept of pure comparative negligence applies.  In this system, a judge or jury decides how much each party is at fault for the injured person’s damages and apportions the damage award according.

For example, let’s assume that a person was injured in a car accident that involved the injured person and one other driver and that the injured person’s damages was $100,000. If the non-injured person was 60% responsible for the accident, the court will order them to pay the injured person $60,000. If the non-injured person was only 10% responsible for the accident, the court will order them to pay only $10,000.

If this incident had happened at an Arizona State University vs. University of Arizona game, everyone involved in causing the injured persons’ injuries could be partially financially responsible for the injuries they contributed to. The challenge in these cases isn’t proving that the injured person was injured but who is responsible for what portion of the costs.

If you are injured at an Arizona sporting event, please contact the Phoenix personal injury lawyers at the personal injury law firm Oracle Law Group today.