Family of Teen Who Overdosed at Rave Wins $190K

In 2010, the large commercial rave, Electric Daisy Carnival was held at the Coliseum in downtown Los Angeles across the street from the University of Southern California, and miles away from local hospitals.  At the rave, which attracted over 150,000 attendees, a 15 year old girl died of an ecstasy overdose.  That child was Sasha Rodriguez, a teenager who snuck out of her house to attend the wild rave.  

At the rave, there were thousands of people, many of whom were not only indulging in illicit drugs, but also selling these drugs to teenagers.  The event was supposed to be 16 and over, but Sasha was not carded and was let into the event with her ticket in hand. According to her grieving family, they feel the venue and the concert promoters should have known their daughter was at risk for injury and should have taken steps to protect her.  Instead, their daughter overdosed on an illicit narcotic and died at a hospital nearby.

In a lawsuit against the venue and the promoter, the family obtained a judgment of $190,000 for their daughter's tragic death.  The promoters and venue are understandably upset, but still claim they are not responsible, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. With this judgment, it begs the question, are these venues and promoters responsible for the health and welfare of their attendees? And will they continue to be held liable for concertgoers' injuries at these events? 

Are Raves Dangerous to the Public

According to members of the Los Angeles Police Department, local doctors, and even members of federal regulation bureaus, these raves are hotbeds for illicit drugs.  As a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observed while tagging along with paramedics that day, many of the festival attendees' eyes were as big as "dinner plates," signalling that they had ingested ecstasy, an illegal narcotic made of mdma. As a nearby doctor observed, their emergency room had filled with teenagers in skimpy outfits who were tragically ill and could soon find themselves brain dead from the drug. 

 At this rave, thousands of people were listening to music and partying.  And a portion of the crowd was also doing illicit drugs.  You could argue that this 15 year old was in danger of injury from:

  • drug pushers
  • grabby boys
  • violence that had broken out 
  • ingesting spiked drinks
  • being trampled by the crowd in the initial push to get in
This rave was wildly condemned in the media for a multitude of undesirable behaviors.  This included popular YouTube videos showing kids nearly trampled to death trying to get in the front gate.  Bloody teenagers were being pulled off the ground by security guards. This also included condemnations of rampant drug use by authorities and parents alike.  

Are Venues Liable for Your Injuries

In this lawsuit, the venue and promoters were found liable for the teenager's death.  Could this establish a pattern where venues and promoters might similarly be held liable for concertgoers' injuries? If you have been injured at a rave or a concert, you should seek out the help of a skilled personal injury attorney to determine whether or not you might be eligible for compensation for those injuries.