Falls Festival Crowd Crush Must Prove Losses

 In Injury Claims

The annual Falls Music & Arts Festival has a capacity of over 17,000 people at its Lorne site alone and attracts dedicated patrons from all over Australia each and every year.

An incident made headlines nearly two and a half years ago when hundreds of people were caught in a crowd crush at the Lorne site on December 30, 2016, as they rushed from one stage area to another at about 9.50pm. Following the stampede, twenty-nine people were taken to hospital, while Ambulance Victoria assessed 80 people at the festival.

Subsequently, as a part of class action lawsuit, seventy-six people claimed to have suffered injury, damage or loss as a result of the incident.

The Plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed that the festival organisers were negligent and proper care and attention was not taken in designing and configuring the festival area.

Ash Sounds Pty Ltd, the organisers of the festival, have admitted that they were liable for the stampede and admitted that the victims suffered injury, loss and damage due to their breach of duty. However, they are disputing the quantum of damages to be paid, with contention over the “significant injury” claimed by some of the festival-goers.

The range of damages expected to be received by the claimants vary significantly. The Plaintiffs’ lawyers have stated they are expecting that six of the claimants who were “significantly” injured in the stampede could be awarded well over $100,000 while other claimants have relatively minor claims in compensation of the cost of their festival tickets, damaged clothing and minor medical expenses.

Last week, the Victorian Supreme Court ruled that the victims will be required to prove their losses in order to be awarded damages with Justice Michael McDonald ordering the case proceed to a judge-only trial from mid-June 2019.

The Court will require very specific evidence to prove loss and in order to make an award of damages. This compensation is allocated under several elements or “Heads of Damage” which may include:

  • pain and suffering;
  • past and future medical expenses;
  • past economic loss and superannuation;
  • future economic loss and superannuation;
  • past care; and
  • future commercial services.


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If you’ve been injured in public or at an event, we’re here to help guide you through the compensation process. We have permanent offices in Adelaide, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Murray Bridge and Clare.  We also service Roxby Downs on a regular basis.

We have been operating in South Australia since 1946 and have a proud history of ensuring everyone has fair access to the power of the law.  That’s why we offer a free initial consultation for public liability claims and a no win, no fee commitment.

If you or a family member have been injured and would like to discuss an accident claim call Tim Downie on 8231 1110 or get in touch online.

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