Film Screening Stampede Case Advances in NY

     (CN) – A woman injured in a stampede at a free movie screening can pursue claims that Sony and others intentionally overbooked the event, a New York appeals court ruled.
     Randi Sachar filed the suit in Manhattan in 2010, claiming that she fell down a crowded staircase at a Regal movie theater while escorting a group of teenagers to a free screening of a movie produced by Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures.
     Though the group was told to go upstairs to find seats, they were then redirected downstairs, Sachar testified.
     On the staircase, however, there was a stampede, and Sachar claims she felt a “pushing thud” from behind that and hurled her through the air.
     Though the trial court initially dismissed the claims against Sony, Regal and Columbia, it later granted Sachar’s motion to reargue and advanced her claims.
     The Appellate Division’s First Judicial Department in Manhattan affirmed last month that the companies were properly denied summary judgment.
     “Regal’s assistant manager confirmed that there appeared to have been a stampede, and Sony’s employee testified that the event was overbooked to ensure the theater was filled to capacity,” the unsigned opinion states.
     These facts support letting Sachar reargue her claim, the court found.
     “Here, defendants knew that the screening was deliberately overbooked, and it was, therefore, foreseeable that overcrowding could be a problem,” the five-justice panel wrote.
     Later, the June 4 decision says summary judgment for the defendants is inappropriate “since … [they] failed to present evidence that adequate crowd control measures were in place.”

%d bloggers like this: