Patrons who choose to attend cultural or sporting events on private property are entitled to expect the owners of the property and organizers of the event to keep the premises reasonably safe from dangerous conditions. Although businesses and property owners may attempt to fully disclaim themselves from liability for injuries by using waivers, signage, and other methods, acts of negligence that harm a patron while attending an event still may be actionable in a court of law.
The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently entered a ruling in a case that was filed by a patron who was injured at a professional football game in 2015. According to the facts discussed in the appellate opinion, the plaintiff attended a Baltimore Ravens football game in 2015 and was struck by a football that was kicked by a Ravens player during pregame warmups. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, she lost consciousness after being hit, and is suffering from after-effects of the injury to this day.
The plaintiff sued the Baltimore Ravens, the National Football League, as well as the player who kicked the ball that caused her injuries. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent and reckless by placing her in the situation to be injured as she was. In response to the complaint, the defendants moved to dismiss the charges without a trial, arguing that the plaintiff knew of the risks of attending a game and assumed them by showing up. Furthermore, the defendants noted that the ticket for the game had a disclaimer printed on the back that absolved the defendants of responsibility for injuries that may occur to patrons.