If You Can See It, Flee It; If You Can Hear It, Clear It: Electrocution Attorney Weighs In On Lightning Strike Fatalities At Sporting Events
As an outdoorsman and sailor, I am very much aware of the dangers of lightening and how suddenly dangerous electrical storms can catastrophically injure and kill the unknowing victims in its pathway.
A day of racing on August 5th at Pocono Raceway ended tragically when multiple lightning strikes killed one man and injured nine others. Pocono Raceway officials commented that they warned the estimated 85,000 race fans to take cover several times as the weather noticeably took a turn for the worse. A severe thunderstorm warning was allegedly issued for the area at approximately 4:12 p.m. and NASCAR called the race almost three quarters of an hour later at 4:45 p.m.
Unlike baseball or football stadiums, most race tracks do not have concourses where fans can go during severe weather to be safe. The loud noise from race cars also makes it very difficult to make announcements.
Most electrocution injuries and lightning strikes happen instantaneously and without warning. As an experienced electrocution attorney in Pennsylvania, I raise the issue for question whether or not the operators and owners of the racetrack acted properly in view of such advanced notice of the storm. Business operators and property owners have an obligation to protect the visiting public from dangerous situations and hazards which include, but are not limited to, protection against electrical injury in the event of a lightning strike if they had reasonable prior notice of the situation. The owner or operator of a business has a non-delegable duty to maintain its premises in a reasonable safe condition so as to prevent injuries to business invitees and members of the public. If the owner of the business has reason to know or should have known of a potentially dangerous condition, then under the law they are obliged to take precautionary actions to prevent injury or death to others.