The Super Bowl is normally held in warm weather states: Florida, California. So when Dallas got its first Super Bowl, one didn't expect the major headlines to exclaim that weather left Super Bowl fans injured.
Dallas' unpredicted icy conditions took aim at Super Bowl fans Friday afternoon when ice started falling from the curved roof of Cowboys Stadium. The dome began expelling snow and ice earlier in the day, reports The Dallas Morning News. The fire department knows of at least six injuries, on reportedly critical.
While Cowboys Stadium owners are lucky no one was seriously hurt, they likely won't be immune to lawsuits. This is especially probable because they failed to warn visitors of the impending snowfall after the first chunk fell earlier in the day.
Businesses that are open to the public have certain obligations with regards to the safety of their property. In the case of Cowboys Stadium, fans are considered to be "invitees"--people, such as customers, who are invited (expressly or implicitly) to visit a place of business. The law requires that businesses use reasonable care to protect the safety of invitees. This essentially requires a business owner to make their property safe for visitors.
Most importantly for the Super Bowl fans injured at the stadium, the law requires landowners to warn an invitee of a known hazardous condition on the property. The minute it came to the attention of stadium employees that ice was sliding off the roof, they should have cordoned off the dangerous areas. At the very least, a warning sign should have been posted. By failing to take these precautions, Cowboys' Stadium might have failed to fulfill their duty to warn, making them potentially liable for negligence despite their inability to control the weather.
- Seven hurt by falling snow at Cowboys Stadium, site of Super Bowl (USA Today)
- Several hurt after snow and ice slide off Super Bowl stadium (Chronicle News Services)
- Fans Injured at Cowboys Stadium, New Blow to Jones' Bowl Plans (Forbes)
- Chicago Bears Fan's Fatal Fall at Soldier Field an Accident (Injured)