Court tosses award to Cow­boys’ fan jumped in Ea­gles’ sta­dium

The Morning Call - - LOCAL / NATION - By MARK SCOLFORO

A Penn­syl­va­nia ap­peals court over­turned a jury ver­dict Fri­day against the Philadel­phia Ea­gles, say­ing the foot­ball team should not have been held li­able for in­juries suf­fered by a fan wear­ing a Troy Aik­man jer­sey who was jumped in a sta­dium bath­room.

Su­pe­rior Court va­cated the de­ci­sion that had granted $700,000 to Pa­trick Pear­son, who walks with a limp and suf­fers con­tin­u­ing leg pain be­cause of the De­cem­ber 2014 at­tack dur­ing the Ea­gles-Cow­boys game at Lin­coln Fi­nan­cial Field.

The de­ci­sion cited a 1984 state Supreme Court de­ci­sion in rul­ing that prop­erty own­ers are not li­able for harm to their in­vited vis­i­tors from crim­i­nal ac­tions by third par­ties un­less the prop­erty own­ers have vol­un­tar­ily agreed to pro­tect them.

Pear­son was wear­ing a black Cow­boys No. 8 jer­sey when he vis­ited a crowded bath­room at half­time. Ea­gles fans were taunt­ing Cow­boys fans, prompt­ing Pear­son to re­spond, “get a ring and we’ll talk,” re­fer­ring to Su­per Bowl rings, wrote Judge Mary Murray.

Some­one grabbed the Cow­boys knit cap from his head and threw it into a uri­nal, and Pear­son ended up on the bath­room floor “with four or five peo­ple hold­ing him down, twist­ing his leg and chok­ing him,” the judge wrote. When he got up, he re­al­ized his right foot had been turned 90 de­grees.

Pear­son’s in­juries re­quired two rods and 10 pins to be in­serted in his leg.

Dur­ing the lit­i­ga­tion, the Ea­gles ar­gued the at­tack on Pear­son was a sur­prise and wit­nesses said se­cu­rity is not rou­tinely sta­tioned in­side bath­rooms be­cause such at­tacks are rare there. Se­cu­rity of­fi­cers are posted in the stands in op­pos­ing teams’ jer­seys as a way to root out ha­rass­ment of vis­it­ing teams’ fans.

A mes­sage was left for Pear­son’s lawyer.

Andy Con­nolly, who rep­re­sents the Ea­gles and Ea­gles Sta­dium Op­er­a­tor LLC, de­clined com­ment.

A lawyer for an­other de­fen­dant, se­cu­rity firm Ex­ec­u­tive Ser­vices Man­age­ment Inc., also re­ferred to in the court rul­ing as Apex, says it paid a por­tion of the award to Pear­son last year. The lawyer, Matthew Noble, said Apex Se­cu­rity Group felt vin­di­cated by the de­ci­sion.

“Apex Se­cu­rity Group strives to en­sure that Ea­gles’ fans have only the best pos­si­ble fan ex­pe­ri­ence on game day at the Linc and they do that game af­ter game,” Noble said. “Mr. Pear­son’s in­ci­dent is an un­for­tu­nate and rare case.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.