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Californian judge says insurers not obliged to compensate concert stabbing victim

By | Published on Wednesday 2 October 2019


A Californian judge has ruled in favour of a group of London-based insurers who said they shouldn’t have to pay out damages to a man who was stabbed at a concert they insured.

The legal dispute related to the 2016 edition of an annual concert called Summer Jam, which is staged each summer at the outdoor amphitheatre of the Thunder Valley casino complex in Lincoln, California.

Simon Pantoja was stabbed during an altercation at the concert and subsequently sued the show’s promoter, WorldOne Presents, for negligence, arguing that his injuries were the result of event organisers failing to implement proper security measures at the venue.

Pantoja’s lawsuit stated: “During the concert a fight broke out between unknown individuals for which security personnel working for defendant WorldOne Presents … failed to respond. As a result of defendants’ security personnel failing to respond to individuals continuing to assault a victim, plaintiff attempted to stop the physical assault of a fellow guest and was stabbed multiple times by one of the perpetrators who had entered the concert with the deadly weapon”.

After Pantoja had gone legal WorldOne tried to claim on its insurance policy. But the insurers – a group of underwriters affiliated to Lloyd’s Of London – argued that an ‘assault and battery exclusion’ in that policy meant they didn’t have to cover any damages Pantoja was due or WorldOne’s legal costs in relation to the dispute.

There was then quite a bit of back and forth between Pantoja, WorldOne and the insurers as the case went through the motions. The insurers ultimately sought a summary judgement in their favour.

According to Law360, the judge has now granted that summary judgement, ruling that: “The court finds the language of the assault and battery exclusion … to be unambiguous as a matter of law”.