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Fan hit by falling spectator at Hammerstein Ballroom

Fan hit by falling spectator at Hammerstein Ballroom concert sues over injuries
Yosef Allen, 24, was left with ‘severe and permanent’ damage after fan fell off balcony, landed on him
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By Dareh Gregorian / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013, 4:05 PM

One minute he was enjoying the music, the next he was flattened by a falling concertgoer.

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Yosef Allen, 24, says he suffered “severe and permanent personal injuries” at a Justice show at the Hammerstein Ballroom when a fellow fan fell off the second balcony and landed on him on the ground.

The unidentified fan was apparently fine – witnesses said he was smiling and flashing metal fingers after the fall – but Allen was “horribly injured” with back, neck, and head injuries, said his lawyer, Glenn Faegenburg.

“He absorbed the impact,” Faegenburg said of the freak Oct. 21, 2012, accident.

Allen initially wasn’t planning on seeing the Grammy-nominated French electronic music duo, but went after a pal’s girlfriend backed out at the last minute, leaving him with an extra ticket, Faegenburg said.

Allen, who’d been working as a customer service rep at B + H Camera, suffered multiple fractures in his spine and extensive ligament damage in his knee that required two reconstructive surgeries, the lawyer said.

In total, he missed almost six months of work – and his mind doesn’t feel as sharp as it used to, Faegenburg said. “The speed with which he can call up words has been affected,” the lawyer said.

The concertgoer, who’d fallen approximately 30 feet, left under his own power, the lawyer said.

The suit charges the popular midtown venue with “permitting concertgoers to be unruly; in permitting excessive amounts of alcohol” and “failing to furnish proper guardrails on the upper levels and balconies” and seeks unspecified money damages.

The falling fan, who has not yet been identified, is also a target of the suit. He’s named as “John Doe.”

A rep for Hammerstein Ballroom, Dian Griesel, said the venue “has never had such a bizarre incident before and it has safely hosted concerts produced by the big promoters for over 17 years.”

She said the matter is “in the hands of the respective insurance companies involved with the event.”

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