Motion To Dismiss Granted In Riot Fest Crowd Surfing Incident

May 3, 2017

Nina Zurawel broke her ankle at Riot Fest, a multi-day Chicago-based music festival, in September of 2016 during a per­formance by the band “Brand New” when the handlers of a large male ‘crowd surfer’ lost control and dropped him on her leg. On January 25, 2017, Ms. Zurawel filed a four-count negligence suit in Cook County against Riot Fest Corporation and its owner, the promotion company for Riot Fest, and one of the security companies that was hired to provide security services at the event. The main allegations against the security company were that it failed to provide adequate crowd control measures, failed to provide reasonably qualified and properly trained security personnel to handle crowd control, and failed to control the crowd and prevent the activity of ‘crowd surfing.’

Patton & Ryan appeared on behalf of the security company and immediately filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the security company owed no duty to Ms. Zurawel. The security company was one of three companies that were providing security at Riot Fest and its contract specifically excluded from its scope the area where Ms. Zurawel was injured. The motion to dismiss was granted on the merits less than two months after the security company was served with process, saving the company thousands of dollars in potential legal fees.