PHILADELPHIA (CN) — Injured concertgoers blaming Live Nation, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa claim in court that a rickety railing collapsed at a concert earlier this month, causing dozens to plummet 10 feet to the ground below.
In three separate complaints filed Wednesday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, a total of 17 plaintiffs claimed injuries from spinal fractures to concussions stemming from the accident at the Aug. 5 rap concert at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, N.J.
The lawsuits say event sponsor Live Nation Worldwide is liable for the cracked mortar on the railing, which “predictably” gave way under the weight of thousands of swarming fans trying to get closer to the stage.
Snoop Dogg and co-headliner Wiz Khalifa did not help matters when it came to crowd control, allegedly asking, “Where the weed at?” They also said, “Everybody in the m****f***ing grass bring your ass down here,” as they prepared to perform, the concert attendees claim.
Fans in the venue’s upstairs lawn area responded swiftly to the rappers’ pleas, the lawsuits say. The crowd reportedly surged forward with great force, pushing too much weight against the troublesome railing and fracturing its cracked mortar entirely just moments after the show began.
The accident is said to have sent dozens of patrons plummeting down to the concrete area immediately abutting the stage. The remains of the breached guardrail fell with them, the complaints allege, causing concertgoers and employees standing below to be crushed and pinned under the weight of the wreckage.
Many of the plaintiffs claimed that they lay on the ground bleeding, unconscious and trapped “under a mass of bodies” for several minutes as the venue’s staff “focused solely on escorting the artists offstage.”
In addition to allegedly providing “inadequate and disorganized medical attention,” Live Nation is accused of knowingly endangering its fans by virtue of the shoddy condition of the railing and its inability to safely contain large crowds.
The venue had even known the railing’s mortar was cracked and made slipshod efforts to repair it previously, the lawsuits claim.
“Live Nation made the repairs in a cheap and reckless fashion because their focus was more on cutting costs than it was on the safety of the concertgoers,” one complaint states.
Snoop Dogg and Khalifa, who are sued under their respective real names Cordazor Calvin Broadus Jr. and Cameron Thomaz, are accused of “inciting the crowd to a dangerous level,” thereby “[posing] a grave threat to the wellbeing of all patrons in attendance.”
Los Angeles-based Stampede Management, which represents Snoop Dogg, did not respond to an emailed request Wednesday evening for comment on the allegations.
Representatives from Atlantic Records, to which Khalifa is signed, also did not return a Wednesday evening email seeking comment.
A communications officer for Live Nation, meanwhile, declined to comment on the matter.
National Event Services Inc. is also named as a defendant in the suit.
The concertgoers seek unspecified punitive damages from all parties for alleged negligence.
Most are represented by Robert Mongeluzzi of Philadelphia firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett and Bendesky, who consolidated his clients’ claims into a single complaint.
Two additional plaintiffs, each of whom sued individually, were represented by David Sternberg, Steven Wigrizer and Jason Weiss of Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher and Miller.
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