2 Investigators: Injured Fans File Lawsuits Against Major Concert Promoter
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By Dave Savini
(CBS) – They went for the music and ended up in the hospital. Some concertgoers at major local venues say poor crowd control and inadequate security endangered fans.
CBS 2′s Dave Savini looked into allegations of unruly fans, stampedes and beatings at concerts. This has left some fans asking: Where’s the security.
Among those fans are Gabby Davidson and Raquel Castellanos. The sisters each spent $200 for general admission tickets to Beyonce’s December concert at the United Center.
They never made it inside.
“I felt so helpless,” says an emotional Raquel Castellanos. “It was terrible.”
General admission ticket holders did not have assigned seats. They say their entrance lacked enough security to manage a massive crowd of anxious fans, and when the gate opened, a stampede ensued.
“I was in total, total, total shock when it happened,” says Davidson, who suffered a concussion.
“I remember hearing her screaming,” Castellanos says. “I knew we could both die like that.”
Castellanos suffered a crushed ankle when knocked down and trampled. It was surgically repaired with pins and a plate.
The sisters are suing concert promoter Live Nation, United Center and Beyonce for failing to provide adequate security. Their attorney is Tom Paris.
“They need to change the way they do things,” he says. “It was a stampede and that’s exactly what happened. They ended up under the crowd.”
The 2 Investigators also found Live Nation and United Center were sued previously for alleged injuries stemming from crowd-control problems. This involved a 2011 Jay-Z and Kanye West concert.
At another venue, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, CBS 2 uncovered two more lawsuits accusing Live Nation, which owns the venue, of failing to protect concertgoers at a 2012 Jason Aldean concert.
One lawsuit was filed by Ryan Shukstor, who says he was attacked outside the concert and his eye socket broken.
The other case was filed by Matt Zielinski, who says he alos was assaulted, but on the inside, and that it was preventable.
Zielinski says out-of-control fans crowded the aisles during the performance and that is when he was tackled. He says he was beaten and no staff or security helped him. His injuries were serious; his spleen was removed.
“Once it’s ruptured, it’s unrepairable,” says Zielinski, who hired attorney Sarah King from Clifford Law Offices tofile a lawsuit againstLive Nation.
“They didn’t do anything to make their patrons safe,” King says.
The 2 Investigators asked both Live Nation and the United Center what their policies are involving concerts and security. Both have declined the opportunity to comment on that or the lawsuits.
We have been unable to reach Beyonce’s representatives.