By Pendergast Law on October 14, 2017
Sports fans flock to Seattle stadiums like CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field every year to watch their favorite teams play. But sometimes, the action doesn’t stay on the field — particularly when a fan gets hurt in a slip-and-fall (or trip-and-fall) somewhere in the stadium.
When these accidents happen, the injured victims might wonder who should be held responsible. And while they may automatically assume the owners or operators of these venues are to blame, that’s not always the case.
Are Stadium Owners Liable?
The owners of these stadiums understand that, with so many people in one place, there is a real danger of injury occurring. And they know that without certain measures in place, they could be held liable. Because of this, they take precautions that will excuse them from liability.
The main precaution they take is by including a waiver in very fine print on the back of each ticket. While most sports fans won’t take the time to read this waiver, it can still hold up in court as protection for the owner of the stadium. This waiver states that spectators take on an assumption of risk as soon as they enter the venue. With such a big crowd, people are expected to understand that they may get hurt, and this waiver covers injuries sustained from some accidents.
But it doesn’t protect the owner in all accident scenarios.
Even with the waiver, owners are expected to keep those entering their stadium safe at all times. They must keep all structures, such as railings and floors, in good condition, and are also responsible for cleaning spills up promptly so that no one slips and falls on them.
So, if a man simply slipped and fell on a step as he tried to make his way through a crowd, the stadium owner probably would not be responsible. But if that step was broken, and the man tripped on the crack and fell down the stairs, the venue owner could be held responsible for providing compensation for those injuries.
If You Were Hurt, Speak to an Experienced Lawyer
Filing a lawsuit against a venue owner can be very complicated; and not everyone will have a valid case. If you have fallen at one of Seattle’s stadiums and you believe the owner or operator of the venue is to blame, call Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at 888-539-9211. We’re not afraid to take on the big corporations that own these stadiums, and we fight for the rights of our clients in court.