Imagine yourself at your favorite sporting event after paying a handsome sum for tickets to luxurious box seats. The normal expectation would be a great game, beer, hotdogs, nachos, friends, family and a whole lot of fun. Well not for a young family who bought box seats to a Lakers game at the Staples Center. While enjoying the game, their two year-old toddler fell to his death over the safety glass barrier that was supposed protect him.
The parents had been taking pictures of their family in front of the glass barrier immediately before the fatal accident. The child was left on a counter that was constructed too close to the barrier and while the family was reviewing their pictures the boy climbed over the safety glass, fell and sustained severe injuries.
The boy did not die immediately. He was rushed to the hospital and died there the next morning. The death marked the first in the arena since it opened in 1999. As a result of their loss and what they believed was negligence on the part of the stadium, the mourning parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
The judge recently dismissed the case based on previous court decisions. However, the family's attorney feels there is still a chance for justice for the family: "We are confident that the Court of Appeals will have a very different perspective on the case and that the [plaintiff] ultimately will prevail. In the meantime, we hope that the dangerous, unremediated conditions at the Staples Center will not result in another tragedy."
According to the wrongful death claim, the barrier wasn't sufficient protection for the child and allowed him to fall, making this a premises liability issue. In a ruling that surely gets to the parents emotionally, the court thought that the liability belonged on the parents and not the defendants.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Suit in boy's fatal fall at Staples Center is rejected by judge," Matt Stevens and Andrew Blankstein, July 3, 2012