Philadelphia Eagles Fans Falling Off Railing at FedEx Field During Eagles vs. Washington Game Can Sue For Damages Due To Negligence
What Happened at FedEx Field?
In January 2021, at least five fans fell approximately six feet as a railing on the side of the tunnel leading to the locker room at FedEx Field collapsed. The fans were leaning over the edge of the railing to high-five Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Jalen Hurts, as he walked by. The fans that fell were all able to get up quickly; Hurts was able to dodge the falling fans and no injuries were reported at the scene.
A representative of FedEx Field noted that the area where the fans fell is intended to provide wheelchair access for disabled fans, and the railing that gave way was not intended to bear the weight of fans leaning over the edge. It is worth noting that, allegedly, the collapsed railing at FedEx Field is zip-tied back to the platform.
Do They Have a Legal Claim?
Anyone injured by another person’s (or business’s) negligent actions has a potential legal claim, and the individuals affected by the faulty railing at FedEx Field are no exception. The incident would not have occurred if the stadium made sure the railing could withstand the weight of fans. Though there were no injuries reported at the scene, that does not mean that the fans may not have realized their pain and injuries later. The fans were quickly ushered away from Hurts without any medical attention or examination. It is yet to be determined if any of the fans were in fact hurt as a result of the fall. Given the height of the fall, it would not be surprising if they were indeed injured.
The stadium’s failure to provide sturdy railings also put Hurt’s career at risk. The fans nearly fell on Hurts and went on to swarm him in an attempt to get pictures. These could have contributed to an injury, causing Hurts to potentially miss games or not perform as well as he could have. Therefore, Hurts may also have a legal claim.
With that said, every case is unique and may require different evidence to successfully prove a claim.
Discuss your claim with a negligence attorney such as Carpey Law to understand how strong your case is.
Who is Responsible for the FedEx Field Incident?
Even if the railing area is meant for wheelchair access and not intended to support numerous fans, the stadium owners still had an obligation to keep all of its fans safe from injury. It is completely reasonable to expect that football fans would collectively lean against the railings to get a close-up glimpse of their favorite athletes from that area.
As a result, the Washington Football Team (now the Washington Commanders) and its owner, Daniel Snyder, as well as any other party who has an ownership interest in the stadium are responsible for the incident and resulting injuries. So too would maintenance personnel who were subcontracted to install the fence. These defendants had a duty to keep fans safe, and they failed to uphold that duty by not ensuring that the railing by the tunnel entrance was strong enough to support the weight of cheering fans. Furthermore, the “zip tied” railing must be correctly remedied or it may be additional evidence of a pattern of negligence.
What Evidence is Necessary to Prove a Claim?
When bringing a negligence claim for a premises liability case, there are at least two general areas of evidence needed to prove your case. The first is evidence of liability on the property owner. In other words, the injured party, the plaintiff, must prove the property did something wrong that caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Second, documentation outlining the extent of your injuries or damages is required. Medical records or treatment records outlining the diagnoses and recommendations of a medical practitioner is part of this documentation. If your injuries caused you to miss time from work, wage loss documentation will also be part of the proof.
Other evidence includes incident reports, written statements, police reports, photographs and video of the scene as well as any documentation from eyewitness accounts. All of this is used by a negligence attorney to prove the facts in your case.
I May Have Been Affected by Negligence, Should I Talk to a Negligence Attorney?
If you have sustained an injury due to another’s negligent actions, it is essential that you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Sustaining an injury is difficult, but it’s reassuring knowing that you have an experienced negligence attorney on your side.
A negligence attorney can walk you through the process of filing a lawsuit against the negligent party, help you identify what evidence will be necessary to support your claim, and will advocate on your behalf throughout the process. A negligence lawyer can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your claim and determine what a reasonable settlement range might be or if the other party may be short-changing you.
Find a Philadelphia lawyer with experience to identify every party who may have contributed to the cause of the incident. If you’ve experienced injuries because of someone’s negligence in or near Philadelphia, please contact Carpey Law.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.