Just after the Sunday night Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors, a 2 year-old boy, Lucas Anthony Tang, fell to his death from a luxury suite at Staples Center. According to news reports, the family remained in the suite after the game to take pictures. At some point, the family realized the boy was missing only to have security tell them a short time later he had fallen to the seats below and was being rushed to County USC Medical Center. Not long after reaching the hospital, the toddler unfortunately succumbed to his injuries, leaving behind a devastated family, including an 11 year-old sister. Since this tragic accident, it has been reported that the Los Angeles Police Department's Child Abuse Unit is investigating the circumstances surrounding Lucas' death.
Obviously, an accident like this is horribly tragic and not something from which a family will quickly, if ever, recover. It is important for this reason, and to prevent future accidents similar to this, to completely and thoroughly investigate all of the circumstances. What comes to mind immediately is the apparent lack of a barrier that would have prevented the fall from occurring. Should it be possible for a small child to climb over the wall/retainer and fall 50 feet to the seats below? While safety measures are rarely full proof, it seems a logical inference that the barrier in this particular case was inadequate, given that a 2 year-old was apparently able to scale the retainer and fall. Surely, it could reasonably be expected that patrons within the luxury boxes at the Staples Center would include small children, even toddlers.
In California, every business owner has an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment for their guests. In cases involving safety measures within a unique business climate, experts are often necessary to make a determination whether the business owner failed to comply with the applicable standard of care. For example, in this case, expert testimony may be necessary in the fields of human factors and sports arena safety. One measure of the reasonableness of certain safety measures is to look at the standards in the industry to determine whether other similar businesses provide different or better safety measures. A human factors expert could address the issues of human capacity and predisposition with regard to children climbing or attempting to climb over barriers, as well as other related issues.
Compensation for the victims of serious fall accidents should be an important concern to all Californians. When a victim is badly injured or even killed because of a business proprietor's neglect, the business owner should be held accountable for any injuries and damages suffered. An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims. Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type. Mr. Ralph can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Have you or a family member been a victim of a fall caused by the neglect of a business owner?
- Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.