Tailgating, torts, and more

Tailgating, Torts, and More

To many, tailgating is synonymous with football and big parties. Whether it is at an NCAA bowl game or a local NFL matchup, tailgating is cemented as an American tradition. In fact, over 50 million Americans annually participate in this social pre-game behavior. Naturally, tailgating has become highly commercialized. There is nearly $12 billion spent on tailgating activities annually. Some are so enthralled with the social block party experience that up to 35 percent of tailgaters never even enter the stadium for the game. Along with such high activity come increased safety threats, as alcohol and passionate rivalries often create tense situations. Inevitably torts and criminal incidents occur at tailgates, which can leave various parties liable. Recent court rulings demonstrate that liability in tailgating frequently falls on facility owners, organizations, and social hosts.

Entire fraternity membership individually named in suit

Atypically individuals in voluntary organizations can also be held liable. In 2011, a fatal accident occurred at a tailgate outside the annual Harvard Yale football game. A truck driven by Yale student, Brendan Ross, swerved out of control in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity tailgate area tragically killing Nancy Brown and injuring student Sarah Short and Harvard employee Elizabeth Dernbach………

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