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Raiders Fan Saves Woman Who Jumped From Stadium's 3rd Deck

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on November 25, 2013 9:58 AM

A Raiders fan was seriously injured on Sunday trying to break a woman's fall after she jumped from the deck of the Oakland's O.co Coliseum.

The 61-year-old Good Samaritan was hospitalized but is now in stable condition, reports Oakland's KTVU-TV. The woman he saved was in "very critical" condition on Sunday, but she did survive her fall from the third-level deck.

Both parties have yet to be identified.

Ex-Marine Saves Jumper's Life

A sheriff's spokesman identified the Good Samaritan as a Stockton resident and Raiders season ticket holder, an ex-Marine who happened to be walking underneath the woman on the second-floor concourse when he heard she was going to jump.

This incident occurred barely a week after a fan fell from the third deck of the Buffalo Bills' Ralph Wilson Stadium, leaving two people injured. However, the fan in Buffalo appeared to have fallen due to horseplay, while the Oakland Tribune reports that the Good Samaritan at the Raiders game "pleaded" with the apparently suicidal woman not to jump.

According to KTVU, the jumper, who was described as a woman in her 20s, leapt from an area closed off to the public.

Although both parties suffered injuries when the man tried to catch the falling woman, the rescuer may be protected from liability by California's Good Samaritan laws. Some Good Samaritan laws only protect rescuers from lawsuits when they attempt to perform emergency medical care, but California's laws insulate persons who perform non-medical rescue acts -- like trying catching a falling woman.

Potential Stadium Liability?

A fans falling from a stadium balcony is an unfortunate but not uncommon occurrence. Just this September, a 49ers fan died after a fatal fall from a walkway in Candlestick Park. In that case as well as this one, the stadium stands a good chance of being sued on a theory of premises liability.

Although there may be some suggestion that the fall at O.co Coliseum was a suicide attempt, the lack of security or warning signs in the open deck area could potentially lead to liability for the stadium.

It's likely that both the Good Samaritan and the woman he saved will also need to overcome any liability release they agreed to by purchasing their tickets in order to sue the team or the stadium's owners.

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