CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) – A women injured in a stampede at a July 2016 Gwen Stefani concert is suing the artist and event promoter Live Nation claiming the singer caused the melee by encouraging attendees to storm the stage.
In a federal complaint filed in Charlotte on Friday, Lisa Keri Sticklin says she purchased a reserved sear for the July 23, 2016, concert at the city’s PNC Pavilion and had no reason to expect anything other than a safe and enjoyable concert experience.
In fact, she says, she went to the concert with friends as part of the celebration of her birthday. She says she was not drinking during the event, and that she sat his her assigned seats.
“PNC Pavilion has a patron seating capacity of approximately 18,768, including approximately 8,614 reserved theatre-style seats situated in front of the performing stage … and approximately 10,154 spaces on the lawn to the rear of the reserved area … where blankets and lawn chairs are permitted, with lawn chairs available for rental,” the complaint says.
The two sections were separated by barricades and ropes.
“In the midst of Stefani’s musical performance, Stefani unilaterally announced via her microphone and the loud speakers throughout PNC Pavilion that all patrons in the lawn seating area should come to the reserved seating area and the front of the performance stage, including announcing ‘Just fill in anywhere you like! Who cares about your lawn chairs? You can get new ones!’” the complaint states.
Stricklin says at that point, a huge crowd of concert-goers stormed the reserved seating area, overwhelming the security staff and breaking through the barricades.
Trapped in the crush, Stricklin says she suffered severe injuries, including a broken tibia in her leg.
“After the patron crowd rush and the resulting injury to the Plaintiff, Stefani announced through her microphone and the loud speakers throughout PNC Pavilion that ‘I got in so much trouble for telling you guys to come up here!’” the complaint says
“The danger of crowd rushing resulting in injuries to patrons, and the related necessity to therefore manage crowd control at music venues to prevent crowd rushing resulting in patron injuries, is well known throughout the nationwide music venue security industry, including the security Live Nation provided for the PNC Pavilion during Stefani’s July 23, 2016 concert,” Stricklin says.
She says Stefani and Live Nation, which booked the concert, were negligent.
Stricklin seeks compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Larry Economos of Raleigh.
Representatives of the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.
Stefani’s career launched as the lead singer of the band No Doubt in 1995, and has since branched out as a solo artist, won three Grammys, started her fashion line, L.A.M.B., and become a TV personality on “The Voice.”