Exactly one year ago today, a 19-year-old young woman died at a music festival held in Pomona, California. The HARD Summer Music Festival, widely considered a "rave," was at the fairgrounds where the Los Angeles County Fair is also held each year.
The young woman was determined to have died from a drug overdose. Now her parents have filed a wrongful death suit against the festival promotors, Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the security company whose staff was working at the event and the Los Angeles County Fair Association. Also included in the suit are the City of Pomona and Los Angeles County, which the plaintiffs say sanctioned the event.
Suit: Festival Had Insufficient Security and Emergency Response Personnel
The lawsuit claims that the defendants could have prevented the teen's death with appropriate security and emergency response personnel. They are seeking unspecified damages.
This young woman was by no means the only attendee who suffered drug-related harm, according to the suit. The parents' claim states that another college student, an 18-year-old woman, died of a drug overdose on the first day of the festival and that about 50 others fell into comas or experienced seizures, "overwhelming emergency rooms with teenagers and young adults."
The young woman's parents maintain that if their daughter had received "timely and proper" medical attention, she would not have died. However, there were reportedly just four medical stations set up to handle some 65,000 festival-goers. Further, personnel who treated the woman before she was taken to the hospital were, reportedly, not properly trained to do so.
Plaintiffs Claim Defendants "Turned a Blind Eye" to Drugs
As to the issue of the prevalence of illegal and potentially dangerous drugs at the festival, the suit asserts that the defendants either knew or at least should have known that Ecstasy was being distributed and consumed. However, they "turned a blind eye to the known risks in order to capitalize on ... young adults who believed they were attending a safe party environment."
Wrongful death and other personal injury lawsuits can sometimes be tricky because defendants are likely to argue that the victim was responsible for his or her own actions. However, individuals and entities that host events and invite others onto their premises are responsible for providing a certain level of safety. Attorneys with experience in wrongful death and premises liability suits can advise victims and surviving family members on their legal options.
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