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Gwen Stefani and Live Nation attempt to have injury case dismissed

By | Published on Monday 3 September 2018

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani and Live Nation have argued that they cannot be held liable for injuries sustained by a woman at a 2016 show in North Carolina.

Lisa Stricklin sued last year seeking damages for leg injuries which occurred after Stefani called on audience members to come forward and fill empty seats during the 2016 concert at the outdoor PNC Music Pavilion venue.

The defendants are seeking a summary judgement in their favour. Stefani argues that her call for fans to move forward are protected under free speech rights in America’s First Amendment. Meanwhile, Live Nation, the venue operator, says that it should never have been included in the lawsuit in the first place.

According to Law 360, the company argues that it could not have anticipated that Stefani would tell people to move forward. When she did, staff asked her to retract her comments, a request she complied with. It adds that security and ushering staff at the venue was ample, something it says Stricklin has actually agreed was the case.

Stefani’s call for a summary judgment in her favour says: “As protected speech that does not fall under one of the exceptions to the First Amendment, Ms Stefani cannot be held liable in tort. To hold otherwise would create a dangerous precedent that chills the flow of protected speech”.

In addition to this, the legal claim argues that she should not be ordered to pay any damages, because she did not know that her instruction would place any concertgoers in danger.

Her legal team also cite a case against Ozzy Osbourne, in which a couple claimed that his music contributed to the suicide of their son. That case was dismissed after it was ruled that Osbourne could not be held liable for his speech.

Stricklin, who was sitting in reserved seats at the show, says that she was injured after fans responded to Stefani’s call to move forward, pushing through barriers and trampling her. She accuses the musician and Live Nation of negligence and is seeking more than $5 million in damages.