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Possible stadium litigation over football injury

A season-ending injury sustained by Reggie Bush on the sidelines at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis may have been noticed by West Virginia NFL fans. The San Francisco 49er was injured during a slip and fall on concrete just past the sideline, raising a mass of complex questions as to who is responsible for the injuries sustained and to what degree.

The outside perimeter of the field is surrounded by a concrete apron, which is unusual in NFL stadiums. Among the player's injuries was damage to the knee, terminating his season. Under the terms of his contract, Bush will still receive the balance of his pay for the season, but there is a chance that the player may also be able to recoup damages from the owners and operators of the stadium if a premises liability lawsuit does end up being filed.

While the litigation is under consideration, it is possible the NFL collective bargaining agreement may preclude civil action against the St. Louis Rams, who do not own or operate the Edward Jones Dome even though they call it home. The injury would most likely be considered the same as a slip hazard anywhere else outside the actual zone of play, such as on a wet floor or stairs.

An attorney considering the viability of a premises liability lawsuit on behalf of an injured client may begin by considering the conditions that led to the injury, whether such injuries have occurred in the past, what corrective measures were taken and other factors that may influence the claim. If a dangerous condition existed that the property owner was aware of but failed to correct, the owner could be held financially responsible for the losses that were sustained.

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