On behalf of Jeremy Levine at Levine Law Firm P.C.

Festival organizers accused of not taking measures to protect pedestrians

A number of lawsuits have been filed in relation to the fatal pedestrian accident at the South by Southwest music festival in March, according to KHOU News. The accident occurred when a driver with a blood-alcohol content level well above the legal limit plowed into a crowd of festival goers, killing four and injuring many more. The lawsuits say the festival organizers failed to take adequate measures to protect festival goers from the risk of errant vehicles, a risk that they should have foreseen.

Fatal accident

The crash happened as the driver of the vehicle was fleeing police after a traffic stop. The man plowed past a traffic barrier and into a crowd outside a district of nightclubs. The crash killed four people and injured two dozen more. According to the Houston Chronicle, the driver's blood-alcohol level was 0.114, well above the legal limit of 0.08.

A report in September found that the public safety risk posed by drunk drivers combined with overcrowded streets and venues was reaching a "critical point" at the music festival. The report said that changes at the festival were needed in order to avoid festival goers being placed in harm's way. That report, however, has been disputed by festival organizers.

Organizers should have foreseen risk

A number of lawsuits have now been filed on behalf of the victims in the March crash. Those lawsuits, in addition to naming the driver as a defendant, also accuse festival organizers of failing to do enough to protect the public. The lawsuits note that there are 20,000 errant vehicle accidents across the country every year and that the festival should have had sand- or water-filled barriers to protect pedestrians from such vehicles. Similar barriers were installed on the Butler Hike and Bike Trail after an errant vehicle there killed a hiker.

The lawsuits say that festival organizers have failed to adequately address safety concerns raised by the festival's growing success in recent years. One lawsuit says that the danger posed to festival goers could have been foreseen by a traffic consultant or festival organizer of "ordinary intelligence" and that the March accident could have been prevented. The lawsuits are all seeking unspecified damages, while the accused driver remains in custody on capital murder charges.

Pedestrian accident representation

Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are often particularly catastrophic since pedestrians are afforded little protection against cars and other vehicles. The injuries that pedestrians suffer are often severe and many accident victims find themselves unable to work for months or even years afterward.

Pedestrian accident victims should seek legal representation as soon as possible from an experienced personal injury law firm. Pursuing claims in a pedestrian accident is not always easy, and difficult and complex issues relating to insurance and liability often arise. A qualified attorney can help ensure that accident victims have the compensation they need to assist in the recovery process.