By The Associated Press, 9/25/12
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas coroner says the fan who fell to his death at the Houston Texans’ stadium during a preseason game had a blood-alcohol level that was twice the legal limit for driving at the time of the accident.
The Harris County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday that an autopsy determined that 25-year-old Jonathon Kelly of Houston died of multiple blunt-force traumas.
The autopsy also found he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16. The legal limit for driving in 0.08.
Kelly fell 60 feet from an escalator at Reliant Stadium on Aug. 31, during a preseason game between the Texans and Minnesota Vikings. Panicked witnesses called 911 and he was rushed to Houston hospital, where he died.
Medical examiner spokeswoman Tricia Bentley says the death was ruled an accident.
No one likes to be betrayed. However, that is what happened when police in England falsified and changed testimony to make victims look bad and distract others from more critically analyzing police action. On April 15, 1989, 96 Liverpool soccer fans died in the infamous Hillsborough Stadium disaster. A recently released report concluded that the police had changed 116 witness statements to remove information damaging to police and that officials tried to discredit witnesses by digging-up negative information about them. What a shame that the Police did not do the right thing for all the victims and their families. They also threw a wrench into the vaulted Green Guide developed in the wake of such disasters in that some recommendations were based on what police concluded and now we should go back to make sure the Green Guide was in fact accurate.
TSA’s highly touted SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique) was designed to leverage the best of Israel’s airport security strategies to help identify potential terrorist at airports. Of the 353 arrests from 11/10-4/12, 68% were for immigration offenses, drug charges, or outstanding criminal warrants. TSA agents cannot make arrests, but they can refer people to be arrested by law enforcement. From 2004-2008 there were a total of 1,083 arrests associated with such referrals, but none were for terrorism. However, charges have been leveled that agents have not be spotting terrorists, but profiling illegal immigrants and minorities to help obtain some arrests that could help validate the need for their services. Thus, 3,000 agents trained in SPOT will undergo a two-hour training on why racial profiling is not effective. (Business Week, 9/24-30/12 How Not to Catch a Terrorist)
My opinion is that people should be trained on the most likely source of potential concerns and address those concerns, regardless of what is the politically correct term for such action. Thus, if for example the top terrorist concerns were female blondes then I would want all security personnel to take extra precautions to carefully monitor that group. That is not discrimination; it is practical ways to address real concerns.
Court Deals Blow to School District in Negligence Action
From Sport Litigation Allert, 9/21/12– file:///C:/Users/gfried/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/WIUZA4FB/SLA%20volume%209%20issue%2017.html
An Ohio state appeals court has affirmed the ruling of a trial court, agreeing that a school district was not immune from a lawsuit brought by a married couple, who sued after the wife fell on the bleachers in one of the district’s gymnasiums.
The district had argued that it was entitled to immunity under R.C. Chapter 2744 and under the open-and-obvious doctrine.
The incident in question occurred on September 17, 2007. Heidi Leasure, III, was descending the gymnasium bleachers with her young child in her arms when she fell.
Joined by her husband, she sued, alleging that the school district “negligently configured, installed, or maintained the bleachers and negligently failed to warn of the dangerous condition.”
The school district moved for summary judgment based on the aforementioned grounds.
In her deposition, the plaintiff testified that she had been to the school gym more than a dozen times before her accident to watch her nieces’ volleyball games and that on the date of her injury, the bleachers did not look any different than they had in the past. She testified that before she fell, she was not aware that the bleachers had not been fully extended. The accident occurred when the plaintiff’s foot “became stuck on the steps.”
The trial court denied the district’s summary judgment motion and determined that genuine issues of material fact remained regarding whether appellant is entitled to R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) immunity. The court concluded that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether (1) the condition of the bleachers constituted a physical defect, and (2) the open and obvious doctrine barred appellees’ negligence claim.
The district appealed, asserting that the trial court “improperly determined that genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether the condition of the bleachers constitutes a physical defect under the R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) exception.”
In its analysis, the appeals court reviewed R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) which states: “Subject to sections 2744.03 and 2744.05 of the Revised Code, a political subdivision is liable in damages in a civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly caused by an act or omission of the political subdivision or of any of its employees in connection with a governmental or proprietary function, as follows:
“(4) Except as otherwise provided in section 3746.24 of the Revised Code, political subdivisions are liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the negligence of their employees and that occurs within or on the grounds of, and is due to physical defects within or on the grounds of, buildings that are used in connection with the performance of a governmental function, including, but not limited to, office buildings and courthouses, but not including jails, places of juvenile detention, workhouses, or any other detention facility, as defined in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code.
“Thus, to establish that the R.C. 2744.02(B)(4) exception applies, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the injury (1) resulted from a political subdivision employee’s negligence, (2) occurred within or on the grounds of buildings used in connection with a governmental function, and (3) resulted from a physical defect within or on those grounds. Moss v. Lorain Cty. Bd. Of Mental Retardation, 185 Ohio App.3d 395, 2009 Ohio 6931, 924 N.E.2d 401, ¶13.”
The defendant conceded the first two points, but challenged whether “injury resulted from a physical defect.”
The appeals court sided with the plaintiff, writing that “the alleged failure to properly set up the bleachers caused them to become unstable and thus to fail to operate as intended.”
It pointed to a handful cases in support of its finding.
In Yeater v. Board of Ed., LaBrae Sch. Dist., Trumbull App. No. 2009-T-0107, 2010 Ohio 3684, “the court determined that loose bolts within volleyball equipment may constitute a perceivable imperfection that diminishes the equipment’s utility or worth. In Yeater, the plaintiff suffered an injury when a stanchion, a piece of equipment used to hold volleyball nets, fell on her foot in the school gymnasium. The school district alleged that it was statutorily immune from liability and no genuine issues of material fact remained as to whether the plaintiff’s injury resulted from a physical defect. The appellate court determined, however, that genuine issues of material fact remained as to whether the plaintiff’s injury resulted from a physical defect because evidence existed that the stanchion contained loose bolts. Id. at 28. The Yeater court thus also appears to have determined that the equipment constituted a physical defect because it did not operate as intended (i.e., the equipment fell) due to a perceivable condition (i.e., the loose bolts).”
Turning back to the instant case, the panel noted that the “improperly set up bleachers contained a perceivable imperfection that impaired their utility. The bleachers were obviously meant to be used in a safe and stable manner. The improper set up resulted in the bleachers having the ability to move while in use.”
Heidi Leasure, et al. v. Adena Local School District, et al., Ct. App. Ohio, 4th App. Dist.; Case No. 11CA3249. 2012 Ohio 3071; 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 2686; 6/28/12
Attorneys of record: (for appellants) Richard W. Ross and Mark A. Weiker, Means, Bichimer, Burkholder & Baker Co., L.P.A., Columbus, Ohio. (for appellees) James S. Savage, McFadden, Winner, Savage & Segerman, L.L.P., Columbus, Ohio.
By Corey Licht, Esq. on August 30, 2012
Nearly a year after shootings broke out at a Raiders-49ers game, a Raiders fan has been shot outside of a Cardinals game, AZfamily.com reports.
According to authorities, 57-year-old Michael Horan shot 29-year-old Chris Knight near the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Police believe the shooting may have been in self-defense.
Horan, a former police officer, attended the Aug. 17 game with his wife. After leaving the game early, the couple became involved in an altercation with Knight in the stadium’s parking lot. The incident culminated with Horan shooting Knight, authorities say.
Knight was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to his family, he was shot in the eye and had to have it removed.
Earlier in the night, employees working the parking lot were told that a man in silver face paint was aggressively approaching fans attempting to leave the lot. Knight was reportedly wearing silver face paint at the time of the incident and may have been drunk.
Horan could be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Under Arizona’s criminal code, a person may be convicted of aggravated assault if he commits an assault that causes serious physical injury or that involved the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon.
However, if it’s true that the shooting was in self-defense, Horan may be able to avoid a conviction. Under Arizona’s self-defense law, a person may use deadly force to defend himself or others. However, the person must reasonably believe that the use of deadly force is necessary to protect against imminent harm.
Glendale detectives are still investigating the Cardinals-Raiders shooting. Once they’re finished, they’ll submit their findings to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for possible charges.
By Alyssa Newcomb, ABC News, 9/2/12
Three people were injured at an outdoor sports complex in Oregon when a monster truck struck a barrier and plowed into the crowd during a Labor Day Weekend show.
The injured, whose names and conditions had not been released today, were taken to the hospital in Eugene, Ore., for treatment. Deputies with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office said the victims’ injuries were not life threatening.
Dan Mills, owner of the Harrisburg MotorSports Complex in Harrisburg, where the accident occurred, said he believes the truck’s hydraulic steering went out during a race, causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle.
“It went to the right and there wasn’t anything he could do to stop it,” Mills told The Associated Press. “This was my worst fear – what happened. … It was the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
More than 1,000 spectators were on hand to see “Monster Air 2012? on Saturday.
Despite the accident, Mills said a show scheduled for today would go on as planned, however as an added precaution, spectators would not be allowed in the area where the accident occurred.
By RAY HENRY (Associated Press) 9/1/2012
ATLANTA (AP) — A 20-year-old fan from Tennessee was drinking alcohol before he fell to his death in the Georgia Dome and struck another man, who was injured, authorities said Saturday.
Isaac Grubb of Lenoir City, Tenn., was killed Friday night when he fell over a 33-inch railing and plummeted to the lower level of the downtown Atlanta stadium during the Tennessee-North Carolina State game. Grubb had been cheering Tennessee’s second touchdown when the accident happened around 8:23 p.m., said Frank Poe, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the stadium.
Grubb, who was too young to legally buy alcohol, started drinking around 5 p.m., more than three hours before the accident, said Lt. Chad Hurston of the authority’s police department. Investigators are awaiting results from the medical examiner’s office before determining whether alcohol was a major factor in the accident, Hurston said. An autopsy was planned.
Witnesses have told police Grubb did not buy alcohol inside the stadium. His family could not be reached for comment.
Grubb landed on a 34-year-old man in the mezzanine from Fort Mill, S.C., who suffered minor injuries. Georgia Dome officials did not release the identity of the second victim, who was treated and released from the Atlanta Medical Center.
An initial review has not identified any equipment failures, Poe said. Patrons in the balcony are shielded by a railing that is 33 inches tall in front of seats and 42 inches tall in front of the aisles.
Poe said he believed a woman attending an Atlanta Falcons game a decade ago had suffered minor injuries in a similar fall. Stadium officials did not see a need to change their policies before hosting a kickoff game Saturday between Auburn and Clemson.
Poe also disputed accounts that medical teams were slow to respond to the accident, saying the first medical responders arrived at the site a minute after the accident, followed by a second team four minutes later.
”In addition, we have not uncovered anything regarding our standard operating procedures that would suggest a change is necessary for” Saturday’s game, Poe said.
The fall occurred a day after a 25-year-old fan tumbled about 60 feet from a fifth-floor escalator at Reliant Stadium in Houston during a preseason Houston Texans game. Jonathon Kelly died from the fall during the Thursday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, and frantic witnesses called police to report where his body had landed, police spokesman John Cannon said. Police said the fall appeared to be an accident.
Last year, a firefighter attending a Texas Rangers game in Arlington died when he fell from the left field stands while reaching for a baseball tossed his way by All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton. The man’s 9-year-old son witnessed the fall. A statue was later dedicated at Rangers Ballpark to the man and his son, and railings were raised throughout the park before this season.
And in Colorado, a 27-year-old man, Robert Seamans of Pueblo, fell to his death last year while trying to slide down a stair railing at Coors Field during the seventh inning of a game between the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He fell between 20 and 30 feet and struck his head on concrete.
By KRISTIE RIEKEN and RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI (Associated Press) | The Associated Press – Fri, Aug 31, 2012 8:41 PM EDT
HOUSTON (AP) — A 25-year-old fan died after tumbling about 60 feet from a fifth-floor escalator at Reliant Stadium during a preseason Houston Texans game, officials said Friday.
Jonathon Kelly of Houston fell to the ground floor during the Thursday night game against the Minnesota Vikings, and frantic witnesses called police to report where his body had landed, police spokesman John Cannon said.
The fall appeared to be an accident, according to police, who didn’t immediately release the victim’s name pending notification of his family. But the Harris County medical examiner’s office released Kelly’s name and hometown Friday evening.
Kelly was traveling down from the fifth floor when he fell to the ground, said Mark Miller, the general manager of SMG-Reliant Park. Two medical teams working at the stadium treated the man at the scene before he was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died, he said.
Staffers monitor fan safety at each escalator landing, Miller said.
”We make sure they’re not overloaded and we try to operate them in the safest possible manner,” Miller said.
The bank of escalators in the northeast corner of the stadium where the fall occurred was closed for inspections, and Reliant Park officials are reassessing safety procedures, he said.
But Texans President Jamey Rootes indicated that security and safety changes were unlikely because of the fatal fall.
”We have our procedures in place, the league has a whole comprehensive set of best practices relative to fan behavior and stadium security,” Rootes said. ”We’ve always been rated at the very highest level … I don’t know that anything changes.”
The Texans open the regular season on Sept. 9 with a home game against the Miami Dolphins.
The fall wasn’t the only fatal incident at a Texas sport venue in recent years. In 2011, a firefighter attending a Texas Rangers game in Arlington died when he fell from the left field stands while reaching for a baseball tossed his way by All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Shannon Stone fell about 20 feet onto concrete when he tumbled over the left-field railing after catching the ball and falling into an area out of sight from the field as the Rangers faced Oakland. Cooper Stone, his 9-year-old son, witnessed the fall during the second inning.
In April, a statue of Stone and his son was dedicated to Rangers fans in front of the home plate gate at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Railings also were raised throughout the ballpark before this season.
AP, Aug. 27, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security is urging fans at professional sports events to help keep the country safe by reporting anything suspicious they see.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano joined New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Monday to announce the security effort. It’s an expansion of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign.
The words were coined by the NYPD as a security slogan for the city’s transit system after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Kelly and Napolitano announced the plan at a news conference along with NBA Commissioner David Stern and Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber.
Napolitano says each citizen plays a critical role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities and threats. She says any information will be shared with officials trying to avert security breaches.