Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is easily one of the most famous music festivals in the world. This year, the festival took place between April 12, 2019 and April 21, 2019. During this time, people of all ages come together to have a memorable time at the festival. One woman who attended the festival is sure to remember it for the rest of her life. The woman claims that she contracted a flesh eating bacteria, specifically necrotizing fasciitis. She believes that the flesh-eating bacteria got into her body through a small shaving cut on her leg. She began experiencing symptoms just a few days after the music festival; the symptoms that she was experiencing were so severe that she went to the emergency room. She was then diagnosed with the bacteria. Because of her quick reaction, she was able to get immediate treatment, which saved her leg and saved her life. Approximately 25% of all people who contract the flesh-eating bacteria end up losing their lives. The woman has no exact information on when exactly she contracted the bacteria during her time at Coachella; however, she is certain that it was contracted during her time at the music festival.
Could Coachella Really Be To Blame?This incident has raised many questions. Could the incident be directly related to the festival’s negligent actions? Is there any way in which the festival could have prevented the woman from contracting the flesh-eating bacteria? In most cases, unsuspecting parties contract the flesh-eating bacteria after being exposed to contaminated water (usually seawater). However, it is also possible to contract the flesh-eating bacteria after eating contaminated seafood. Did Coachella negligently expose attendants to infected water? Did the festival’s actions contribute to the exposure to the dangerous flesh eating bacteria? Based on the fact that there haven’t been any additional reports of harm suffered due to the flesh eating bacteria, it is unlikely that the woman contracted the bacteria at the music festival.
The Likelihood of Locations being the Source of Infections or Other IllnessesWithout a doubt, there have been a number of incidents in the past in which certain locations have been associated with outbreaks of certain infections or diseases, for example. When this happens, it is the responsibility of the property owner (or manager/organizer of the event) to make the appropriate announcements to the public. They have a specific duty to keep their guests safe at all times. When there is a risk of exposure to an outbreak of an infection or disease, they must at least inform their guests of the risk associated with visiting their location or event, for example. Guests can only be warned beforehand when the risk information is available primarily to the parties in charge. If there have been no incidents and no information is available regarding a possible outbreak, there is no way for guests to be warned. If there is information regarding a possible outbreak, however, and guests are not warned, guests are being put negligently at risk of suffering harm. Without a fair and reasonable warning, there is no way for guests to take preventative measures or simply be cautious. If the people in charge failed to at least warn guests of the possibility of being exposed to an infection or a disease, they are negligently putting their guests at risk of being harmed.
Were You Negligently Put At-Risk of Harm? Who is Liable?Consider this hypothetical situation. A famous location/event is in town. Over the days that it is open to the public, there have been a number of reports of guests suddenly becoming very ill – all with the same symptoms. The people in charge are well-aware of the situation; it is clear that there is an outbreak of some rare condition. Instead of immediately informing the public, the people in charge decide to keep the information to themselves and allow guests to continue being exposed to the outbreak. By the time the event has closed for the public, there have been countless more incidents – some guests have suffered severe harm. In this case, due to the fact that the people in charge of the location/event could have done something to warn the public of the outbreak but decided not to, they could face liability. Without a doubt, determining liability for such a complicated matter could be difficult; however, it is important that you understand that a party or an entity could be liable and that you might have grounds to take legal action against the party or entity that contributed to the harm that you suffered.
Could You Sue and Receive Compensation?If there is a party or entity that is clearly liable for the harm that you suffered, you might have grounds to pursue a claim. This means that you might also have grounds to fight for the right to recover monetary compensation. Could you be compensated? What type of compensation could you receive? The answers to these questions depend on the specific details of your claim. In general however, claimants could recover compensation for at least some of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages