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Suit by Fan Trampled by Other Fans in Fight for Football May Proceed
Description Appeals court held that, unlike risk of being struck by ball at sporting event, which is borne by the spectators, the no duty rule does not apply to violence visited upon fan who was attacked by other fans to take ball away from him, when violence problem had been persistent problem.
Topic Torts
Key Words Negligence, Duty to Protect, Spectators
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Telega caught a football kicked into the stands at a Pittsburgh Steelers football game. "He was immediately attacked by a group of 'displaced' fans who relieved him of the football and thrust him into the aisle, crushing his face into the concrete and causing serious injury." Telega and other ticket holders had complained previously about the fights for balls kicked into the stands. He sued the stadium owner and security company for negligence. Trial court dismissed the suit, ruling that the stadium had no duty to protect fans against obvious risk of injuries. Telega appealed.
Decision Reversed. "The risk involved here is unlike the risk of being struck by an errant puck while a spectator at a hockey game... or being hit by a batted ball during baseball... these cases involve risks that are inherent in the activity itself... They are, therefore, as a matter of law, risks assumed by the spectators and participants who patronize the amusement facilities... Therefore, it cannot be said that the injuries suffered by Mr. Telega resulted from a risk that any spectator would be held to anticipate and against which an amusement facility has no duty to protect."
Citation Telega v. Security Bureau, Inc., --A.2d-- (1998 WL 751231, Super. Ct., Penn.)
719 A.2d 372 (Sup. Ct., Pa., 1998)

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