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Cowboys Fan Attacked by Eagles Fans at the Link Loses Again - Case Dismissed (PA)

October 16, 2019

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<p style="text-align: justify;">Tough week for Cowboys fans.  First, "America's Team" succumbs to the previously winless Jets.  Then, a Cowboys fan who was assaulted by Eagles fans at the Link in Philadelphia had his verdict tossed by the Superior Court of PA, which vacated the trial court’s judgement and found in favor of the Appellants in the matter of <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PATRICK-PEARSON-v-PHILADELPHIA-EAGLES-LLC-EAGLES-STADIUM-OPERATOR-LLC-AND-EXECUTIVE-SERVICES-MANAGEM.pdf"><em><a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Pearson-v.-Philadelphia-Eagles-LLC-et-al..pdf">Pearson v. Philadelphia Eagles, LLC, et al.</a></em></a><em>,</em> <span>2019 PA Super 304 (Oct. 11, 2019). </span></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Pearson brought this suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County on August 2, 2016, after he was attacked at a Philadelphia Eagles game on December 14, 2014.<span>  </span>Pearson, a Dallas Cowboys fan, was taunted by Eagles fans while in line for the restroom, and made a comment to the Eagles fans to “get a ring and we’ll talk.” A fight subsequently broke out in the restroom which led to Pearson’s right leg injury. A May 25, 2018 jury trial found Appellants casual negligence to be 50%, Apex’s (who was a party in the underlying suit, but not a party on appeal) casual negligence to be 30%, and Pearson’s own causal negligence to be 20%. The Jury awarded Pearson $700,000 in damages.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Appellants filed a motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict on June 4, 2018 based on their contention that Pearson failed to set forth a prima facie case of negligence against Appellants. They alleged that Pearson failed to prove that the Appellants were negligent in implementing their security, and therefore couldn’t prove that they breached a duty that led to his injury. The trial court subsequently denied this motion, in a decision <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/2019/03/eagles-fans-beat-cowboys-fan-in-stands-eagles-take-the-loss-in-court-pa/">we reported on earlier this year</a>.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Court evaluated the elements of negligence as the following four elements (1) a duty of obligation recognized by law, (2) a breach of the duty (3) casual connection between the actor’s beach of the duty and the resulting injury and (4) actual loss or damage suffered by complainant. <i>See Wilson v. PECO Energy Co</i>., 61 A. 3d 229, 232<span>  </span>(Pa. Super 2012).</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In overturning the lower court's decision, the Superior Court found that the Appellants had no notice that an attack such as the incident with Pearson would occur, nor were they aware of any prior instances of violence in the bathrooms of the stadium. In fact, Appellants stated that fighting in the bathrooms was a very rare occurrence at the stadium. Accordingly, the Court held that the trial court erred in denying the Appellants motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and therefore reversed said order of denial, and remanded the case to trial court for entry in favor of Appellants.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Emily Finnegan for her contribution to this post.  Please email <a href="mailto:BGibbons@wcmlaw.com">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.</p>

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