Encore – Triable Issues Regarding Fall From Concert Stage (CA)

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Fazio v. Fairbanks (California)

In 2010, a musician fell off a stage and was injured while performing at a country club in San Diego, California.  He asserted a negligence against the country club, which filed a motion for summary judgment based on primary assumption of the risk (i.e., falling off a stage was an inherent risk for stage performers such that the club did not have a duty to protect the musician from that risk).  The trial court granted the club’s motion, and the musician appealed.  On appeal, the Court of Appeal confirmed that falling off a stage was an inherent risk for stage performers, but it reversed the trial court ruling, finding that a triable issue of material fact existed as to whether the condition of the stage (which included “significant gaps” along the sides due to its configuration) increased the risks and “posed a substantial risk of injury to the foreseeable user exercising due care.”

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