Court Battle on Mayweather Fight ‘Stampede’


     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Eight people have brought a lawsuit over the “human stampede” that erupted after the title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas last year.
     When the May 3, 2014, fight ended with Mayweather winning by a majority decision, the thousands of people whom organizers had packed “in the arena like sardines for profit” panicked and caused a stampede while trying to exit the MGM Grand Garden Arena, according to the May 1 complaint in Clark County District Court.
     The Las Vegas Sun reported at the time that the sound of a wall partition falling over was mistaken for gunshots.
     Local firefighters responded to a call claiming there was a gunshot victim near the food court at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, but there was no gunshot victim, Clark County Fire Department officials said.
     Victor Soberon and the other plaintiffs say that gunfire confusion or not, blame for their injuries lies with the “insufficient number of exits, poor building design, and woefully lacking security personnel.”
     MGM “failed or refused to take appropriate precautions to protect” patrons and did not “provide a safe exit,” Soberon says.
     Since “the stampede … was not the first of its kind in the complex,” according to the complaint, MGM and the fight promoters “should have reasonably anticipated such an occurrence” that could injure fight attendees.
     Soberon and the other attendees also blame the promoters for selling an “excessive number of tickets” to the fight. The Nevada Athletic Commission puts that number at 15,718 tickets.
     The seven other plaintiffs are Jaime Soberon and her minor son, Luis Manuel Soberon; plus Dulce Soberon De Castillo, and her minor children, Braulio Gabriel Castillo and Carlos Gael Castillo; and J. Eleazar Avila Perez and Rosalinda Del Carmen Esparza Moreno.
     The plaintiffs say they suffered various rib, chest and back injuries or had to pay medical costs to treat the children’s injuries.
     The complaint names as defendants the MGM Grand Hotel and several of its affiliates, along with Golden Boy Promotions and the champion’s company, Mayweather Promotions.
     Las Vegas attorney Romeo Perez represents the plaintiffs in the negligence action.
     Former champion Oscar de la Hoya founded Golden Boy Promotions in 2002 and claims he is the first Hispanic to own a national boxing promotions company.
     The lawsuit incorrectly identifies this entity as Golden Boy Productions.
     Undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr, founded Mayweather Promotions in 2007 after breaking ranks with fight promoter Top Rank.
     He held onto his title in a widely publicized fight Saturday night with Manny Pacquiao.
     No party to the stampede lawsuit has returned a request seeking comment.

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