Two Cook County women, who claim they were trampled while entering a Beyoncé concert at United Center, have filed a personal injury lawsuit. They are suing the entertainer and the venue as well as Live Nation, the event organizer.
The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, claims that Gabriella Davidson and Raquel Castellanos were near the front of a group of ticket holders who gathered at an entry gate at United Center several hours before the scheduled showtime on December 13. According to the complaint, another gate was opened with no explanation, and the crowd shifted, trampling the two women.
The complaint alleges that the two women, both residents of Oak Park in their early 20s, were afraid for their lives. Davidson lost consciousness and Castellanos suffered a broken ankle. Two other concert attendees assisted the women until a Chicago Fire Department ambulance arrived to transport them to Rush Medical Center. The lawsuit claims that Castellanos lost time from her job and that both plaintiffs accrued medical expenses.
According to the lawsuit, Beyoncé, Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and United Center Joint Venture should have known that premium ticket holders who did not have assigned seats would begin gathering well before showtime, and that the defendants were negligent in their crowd management. The lawsuit alleges that security personnel opened the gate while giving no instructions to the crowd or providing a reasonable system for the entry of a large number of people. They therefore failed to prevent people in the crowd from running and pushing.
The women had purchased premium general admission tickets, which did not correspond to assigned seats but allowed ticket holders to assemble in an area closer to the stage. The lawsuit claims that the women voiced concerns about the crowd to United Center staff while they waited, but that the staff did nothing to control the “chaotic circumstances,” which were “completely foreseeable.”
The United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls, opened in 1994 and has a capacity of 23,500. The venue is named for its corporate sponsor, United Airlines. Live Nation Entertainment was formed from the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation Concerts. Beyoncé has sold more than 118 million records as a solo artist and has won 17 Grammy Awards. In 2013, Time Magazine named her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
The two plaintiffs, described as “long time Beyoncé fans,” are seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.