The organisers of a festival in the Canadian city of Ottawa are potentially facing a public liability lawsuit after a stage collapsed and at least four people were injured.
A crowd of thousands were watching the band Cheap Trick perform at the Ottawa Bluesfest when the incident occurred last Sunday (17th July). There had been a severe thunderstorm watch in effect all evening, but the appearance of a sudden storm which swept over the main stage nonetheless came as a surprise to spectators and performers. CTV Ottawa reporter Katie Griffin said:
“It just happened so fast,”
“There was really nothing anybody could do.”
The sudden storm caused the main stage to collapse, and four people to be injured. One man, who suffered a broken thigh and pelvis and had his stomach pierced by a piece of stage, was believed to be in a life-threatening condition but he has since been reassessed by paramedics.
Whilst it is too soon to tell whether any of those injured or otherwise affected by the stage collapse will pursue legal action against the event organisers, or whether they would even have grounds to do so as the adverse weather was a main cause of the incident. However, victims of accidents which take place at public events commonly sue for compensation, which is why event insurance is so incredibly important for organisers.