Unforeseen Injuries: Premises Liability and Football Games

This week marks the beginning of autumn which means Pennsylvanians are in the thick of football season. From high school to college to the professional circuit, the people of our state love this sport. If you are lucky enough to witness a game in person, it will surely be a treat. However, there can be some unfortunate moments for you or other spectators in attendance at a football game, and these moments can sometimes involve the issue of premises liability.

Most people assume they will enjoy watching a football game accident-free. Aside from seeing a fan-favorite player go down, that assumption is usually correct. However, football stadiums at any level can have a variety of unexpected hazards and those who are injured may be able to sue for financial compensation. 

Common Causes of Injury at Football Stadiums

Some of the most common hazards that cause spectator injuries at football stadiums include walking up and down stairs or escalators, large crowds, and weather conditions. These hazards shouldn’t come as a surprise because these three things are associated with a variety of premises liability cases the lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli see on a day-to-day basis. 

Stair or escalator accidents that occur at a football stadium are typically categorized as “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accidents. A likely scenario may involve a spectator slipping or tripping on a faulty stair or step. Under premises liability law, this would be considered a dangerous condition that should have been fixed prior to the accident. 

Conversely, large crowds don’t have to be deemed legally dangerous to pose a personal injury threat. Beaver Stadium, home of Penn State University football, holds approximately 107,000 people. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field holds approximately 70,000 people. Before, during, and after games, these large crowds can lead to serious injury. 

Spectators need to worry about fights, getting trampled on, and other hazards due to the mass volume of people. Without proper security in place to monitor these large crowds, someone may become seriously injured. 

Speaking of serious injuries, weather conditions are not something to take lightly, either. It’s up to stadium personnel or school officials to make sure those in attendance are safe. For example, a stadium filled with ruckus fans may be asked to leave and seek shelter because of a severe weather threat such as a thunderstorm. If someone in the stadium was unlucky enough to be struck by lightning, those in charge of keeping people inside the stadium safe would be held liable for what occurred. 

Premises Liability: What You Need to Know

Each of the hazards mentioned above is an issue of premises liability. When you are injured on another person’s or entity’s property (e.g. the football stadium), you may have a case under this sector of Pennsylvania law. Only if the injured party causes the injury to oneself will that party not have a case.  

If you sustained an injury at a football game and believe it was not your own fault, you will need to prove the following: 

  • The stadium owner(s) had a duty of care to prevent an injury
  • There was a failure to fulfill that duty
  • Because of this failure, an injury occurred 
  • The harm resulted in damages

At the end of the day, it all comes down to duty of care. This is a legal obligation to adhere to a reasonable standard of care without causing harm to fans or spectators in a football stadium. 

Premises Liability Injury Law Firm in Philadelphia

If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury at a football stadium, sports venue, or anywhere in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas in Pennsylvania, you are going to need legal representation you can trust. 

At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, our lawyers have been fighting for the injured for decades. We’ll make sure you get the compensation you deserve so you can get back on your feet quickly. Contact our premises liability lawyers now for a confidential and free consultation.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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