A San Francisco 49ers fan died after falling from an elevated walkway at Candlestick Park, shortly after kickoff at Sunday's season opener against the Green Bay Packers.
The deceased Niners fan, whose name has yet to be released, appeared to be intoxicated before his fatal fall, reports The Associated Press.
As with other accidental stadium deaths, the victim's relatives could potentially sue the 49ers and stadium operators.
Fatal Fall at Candlestick
The details of the deadly fall are still sketchy, but the deceased fan is reported to have been in his 30s and was seen walking with his brother on a walkway outside the stadium shortly before the incident, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
No official cause of death had been released as of Monday morning. A police spokesman stated that the fan was given first aid "until an ambulance arrived" but was "declared dead from his injuries," reports The AP.
This unfortunate incident may have placed a dark mark on this last season opener for the 49ers at Candlestick Park, as the team is set to move to a new stadium in 2014.
Dangerous Conditions at Stadium
Although the Niners may be moving on to a new stadium, the legal liabilities of the old stadium will likely remain.
The family of the yet unidentified fall victim may file a wrongful death suit against sporting venue, following in the footsteps of similar stadium accident suits.
Like any other venue, Candlestick Park can potentially be sued under a theory of premises liability, with the fan's family possibly claiming that the man's fatal fall was due to an unsafe feature of the park's walkways.
Although many of these accidents are alcohol-related, if stadium officials were aware of the danger of falling drunken fans, then they may be held liable -- for example, for failing to make the walkway safer.
The 49ers fan's deadly fall is not an isolated incident in professional sports games; similar deaths at Atlanta's Turner Field and Houston's Reliant Stadium have made fans and stadium owners aware of the risks of elevated platforms walked by allegedly intoxicated patrons.
- Fan dies after fall at Packers-49ers game (Fox News)
- Chicago Bears Fan's Fatal Fall at Soldier Field an Accident (FindLaw's Injured)
- Patriots Sued for $10M Over Fan's Heart Attack (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Can You Sue if You're Hurt at a Sporting Event? (FindLaw's Injured)