An alleged mistake made by a plaintiff’s attorney has led to the dismissal of a claim brought by an NFL fan, which claimed that the Kansas City Chiefs were liable for the injuries he suffered when trying to break up a fight between fans at a 2013 Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Kansas City Star reported that during the trial, the Chiefs called a defense expert witness. “On cross-examination, (the plaintiff’s) attorney asked about an event at Arrowhead Stadium that happened after (the plaintiff’s) injuries,” according to the paper. “The question was heard by the jurors. The Chiefs’ lawyers objected, and moved for a mistrial. … Judge Roger Prokes immediately halted the trial, and heard arguments on whether the question would affect the ability for the Chiefs to get a fair trial.” A couple days later, the judge declared a mistrial.
A sports law expert familiar with the case told Sports Litigation Alert that the judge’s decision about the “mistake” was unusual, and wondered whether the court’s rationale was based on reasons that did not pertain to the actual transgression.
The plaintiff in the case was Adrien Caye. He alleged in his compliant that when he tried to break up a fight between two men, he was attacked moments before security personnel arrived at the scene. Caye fell down a flight of concrete steps, shattering both wrists, according to court documents.
Caye’s lawyers reportedly argued that the crowds at Chiefs home games have “a history of being unruly, threatening and violent.” Still, the team “did not provide adequate security or crowd control at Arrowhead.”
In the 2014 lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that “the patrons of Kansas City Chiefs’ games are provided with alcohol and an environment exists in which confrontation, assaults, and other related behaviors take place.”
Prior to the mistrial, Chiefs attorney Fritz Riesmeyer pointed out that the team employs hundreds of off-duty Kansas City police officers and deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office as well as employs a private security company at each home game.