Biggest Personal Injury Stories against Madison Square Garden

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Biggest Personal Injury Stories against Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden's management recently banned attorneys from their venues, including John Morgan, the founder of America's largest injury firm: Morgan and Morgan. That's because they're against anyone who attempts to hold them accountable for injuries sustained at these venues due to their actions or inactions. 

For context, we'll discuss some of the biggest personal injury stories against Madison Square Garden. And if you or a loved one is a victim, our premises liability lawyers might be able to help. Fill out this form to learn more. 

Shareholder Lawsuit

In 2021, Madison Square Garden was sued for neglecting the interests of its stockholders during its merger with MSG Networks. In the lawsuit, the Dolan family (the owners of MSG) is believed to have overpaid for MSG Networks (MSGN), weakening the value of the company's public stockholders.

This was an effort to advance their own interests and gain the upper hand in the voting process. The shareholder lawsuit further alleged that the merger's main intention was to finance the MSG Sphere project in Las Vegas, estimated to be worth at least $1.9 billion.

The lawsuit also shed more light on MSG's dishonesty, unfair dealings, and love for cutting corners. One argument that particularly stood out was that the company took advantage of the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on its business in general, resulting in an unfair price for the merger.  

The merger, completed in March 2021, was an all-stock transaction.

Settlement: $85 million.

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

In 2006, former women's basketball player and executive for the NBA's New York Knicks, Anucha Browne Sanders, sued the team's general manager and Madison Square Gardens. It is worth mentioning that MSG owns the New York Knicks and several other sports franchises in New York.

The lawsuit claimed that she was sexually harassed by Isiah Thomas, the then-general manager of The Knicks. 

Even worse, she lost her job after raising the issue with MSG's management. According to the lawsuit, Sanders believed that the company's decision to fire her was triggered by her complaints against the team's general manager. 

To cover up for the unfair dismissal, MSG claimed that Sanders had been fired due to her 'inability to fulfill professional responsibilities.'

That was not the case. MSG had, in fact, retaliated against her for raising the alarm.

A year after the lawsuit was filed, which also included MSG and The Knicks owner James Dolan as a defendant, both parties agreed to settle the case. Interestingly, the settlement agreement arrived just three days before a federal judge was scheduled to hear testimony regarding the case.

As part of the agreement, no appeals were to be allowed. MSG's management knew that they had broken the law and did not stand a chance against the plaintiff in court. That is why they rushed to settle the case without the possibility of an appeal.

This lawsuit also exposed MSG's failure to protect its workers against harassment. Even more disturbing is the fact that despite knowing about the sexual harassment complaint the plaintiff had filed, the company chose the side of the assaulter and even went ahead to fire the plaintiff for reasons they made up.

Settlement: $11.5 Million. 

Dram Shop Liability Lawsuit

Perhaps the most heartbreaking lawsuit filed against the Garden was back in 2008. The suit alleged that the Garden continued to serve alcohol to a former cop, Kevin Freibott, despite the fact that he was visibly intoxicated.

In a damning revelation, the suit claimed that the arena even violated its own policies by serving the ex-cop beer after the midway point of the second half of the college basketball game between Notre Dame and St. John's. 

But the worst was yet to come. According to court documents, Freibott, who was already drunk at the time, caused a car crash that claimed the life of a two-year-old boy and left his mother with massive brain trauma. 

To give you some perspective, the defendant's blood alcohol level was three times above the legal limit.

It is worth noting that in New York City, establishments that serve alcohol are required by law to ensure that they do not continue serving clients who are visibly intoxicated. But MSG ignored this rule, serving the defendant about a dozen 16-ounce beers

Estimated settlement: $8 million 

Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

In 2020, MSG made headlines for the umpteenth time. The lawsuit alleged that the company had discriminated against a certain group of people, particularly Blacks and Latinos, in their employment process. 

The plaintiffs alleged that the popular events and entertainment company denied certain applicants employment without issuing them a copy of their background check. This act violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law designed to protect consumers.

This law requires employers who intend to take an unfavorable action based on a potential employee background report to provide them with a copy of the report. This step will allow the candidate or employee to check for any inaccurate information in the report. It also ensures that employers make informed decisions based on reliable and up-to-date data.

The main intention of this requirement is to ensure that everyone gets treated fairly when seeking employment. Therefore, MSG's failure to provide a copy of the background report to the candidates amounted to a form of discrimination, especially given that most of these candidates were from minority communities. 

By making it difficult and even impossible for candidates to understand exactly why they were not offered employment opportunities at the company, this was a type of employment discrimination. MSG knew that giving the candidates a copy of their background check reports could reveal the truth about their discriminatory practices in the company's hiring process. 

The lawsuit also alleged that the company had a policy of revoking conditional job offers for applicants who failed to disclose their criminal history. This move had an adverse impact on minority applicants, leading to a "disparate impact," a form of discrimination that is often unintentional but affects a certain group of people. 

For example, hiring individuals from a certain racial group to work in specific areas, such as the labor department, and preventing them from accessing other more lucrative employment opportunities which they may qualify for is a form of disparate impact. 

Settlement: $1.3 million.

An Overview of Real-Life Injuries at Madison Square Garden  

No doubt that MSG, as a venue, has hosted some of the most storied games and shows in the history of sports and entertainment in the United States. But when it comes to protecting its visitors and its employees, there is every reason to believe that the management hasn't done enough. 

Liable or not, the fact that MSG is constantly making such headlines tells you everything you need to know about your safety at this venue. 

In late March 2023, MSG made headlines again, this time for being the venue of the unfortunate demise of Ernest Vogliano, the son of a renowned restaurateur in New York City. The tragic incident occurred moments after a Rangers game, according to authorities. The New York Post reported that the victim, 61, was riding an escalator inside the iconic arena when he fell two to three floors to his death. 

In 1992,  a fight broke out at MSG in one of the arena's upper levels during a rap concert. One of the victims suffered deep cuts after being slashed with a razor-type knife by his assailant. That was just one of the many incidents of crowd trouble that had rocked the arena, particularly in the late 80s and early 90s. 

 A 24-year-old woman also sued MSG and event promoter Live Nation after being hit in the head with a beer bottle during a Drake concert at the venue. According to the lawsuit, the 2016 incident left the woman with a traumatic brain injury and seizures, which reportedly prevented her from attending medical school.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What To Do if You Get Injured at Madison Square Garden?

    The sad reality is that some of these lawsuits against Madison Square Garden are usually thrown out of court due to avoidable reasons. Remember that when you file a premises liability case in New York, you carry the burden of proof. In other words, you are responsible for proving that the other party was liable for your injuries.

    So whether or not you may be entitled to compensation, all boils down to the steps you take after the accident. Here are a few tips to keep in mind. 

    Seek immediate medical attention immediately after the accident. You can do this by calling 911 if you've suffered serious injuries. Alternatively, if you do not feel any pain or discomfort and have no visible injuries, it is still important to get checked by a doctor within 72 hours of the incident. 

    This is the only way to ascertain that you did not suffer any internal injuries because your life might be at risk if you did. 

    Also, in the process of seeking medical attention, ensure you inform the appropriate authorities or staff members at Madison Square Garden about your injury. If you're unsure who to approach, you can always report it to security personnel, ushers, or any event staff at the venue. They may be able to guide you through the process of filing an accident report. 

    Next, and only if possible, gather as much evidence as you can about your injury. Examples include but are not limited to:

    • Videos and photographs of the scene and your injuries, if visible
    • Contact information of witnesses who may have observed the incident. 
    • Records of medical evaluations, treatments, and expenses related to your injury.  

    Finally, contact Morgan and Morgan to have your case reviewed by someone experienced in premises liability laws in New York. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, we might be able to help you hold Madison Square Garden or any other party responsible. 

  • What Damages Could You Recover if You Get Injured at Madison Square Garden?

    The exact damages you may be able to recover in such a situation mainly depends on the following factors:

    • The nature and extent of your injuries and the treatment required 
    • The circumstances surrounding the incident
    • The steps you took after getting injured (e.g., whether you sought medical attention) 
    • Whether you contributed to the accident 

    That said, in a typical premises liability case, plaintiffs can recover economic and non-economic damages.

    Examples of economic damages in such cases include compensation for the medical costs associated with your injury, the income you lost during your recovery period, and any damage to your property. 

    On the other hand, non-economic damages may cover the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you endured, the loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disfigurement (especially in burn injuries), and more. 

    If Madison Square Garden or any other liable party is found to be willful, reckless, or malicious in their actions, you may be awarded punitive damages. The good news is that New York has no caps on punitive damages. So if you have a good lawyer on your team and your case meets the threshold for these damages, they may be able to help you maximize your claim.

  • Injured at Madison Square Garden? You Have Rights

    From the cases we've discussed, you've probably learned that Madison Square Garden is not untouchable, even though they may make it seem so. You can hold the management accountable if you or a loved one gets injured at this venue or any of their franchises in this state. All you need is Morgan and Morgan, America's personal injury firm, in your corner. 

    MSG's decision to ban lawyers from their premises won't make us back down. We've been fighting for the injured since 1998 and recovered over $20 billion for more than 500,000 clients. 

    Many people are getting compensated for their injuries at the Garden and other venues Madison Square Garden Entertainment owns. Now is your turn to claim what is rightfully yours.

    Fill out this form to have your case evaluated by a member of our legal team.

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