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More on stage diving, crowd surfing and the law

A few more things related to my story last week about the $14 million lawsuit against the Ottobar filed by a man who alleged a stage diver broke his neck:

— The case is not plaintiff’s lawyer Kenneth G. Macleay’s first experience with stage diving. When Macleay was a student at the University of Maryland, College Park, he worked for what is now known as Student Entertainment Events, which is responsible for concerts, lectures and other happenings on campus. The Pretenders were coming to campus and stage diving was anticipated, Macleay told me. So his job was to stand on the side of the stage at Ritchie Coliseum and prevent anyone from attempting to jump.

But Chrissie Hynde, the band’s lead singer, had her own preventative method, according to Macleay — she put her “six-inch stiletto” into the forehead of a guy trying to climb on stage.

No one tried to stage dive after that, Macleay said.

— Speaking of (metaphorical) kicks, I love when lawsuits use formal language to explain popular culture. A great example is the federal lawsuit I referenced in my story, where a man is suing The Filmore in Silver Spring for a broken back he allegedly suffered after a crowd surfer fell on him during a May 2012 concert.

Here’s how the lawsuit defines crowd surfing:

‘Crowd surfing’ occurs when concert attendees hoist a concert goer on top of the crowd. The crowd then pushes the ‘surfer’ around the crowd—usually toward the stage—until the surfer either falls or is pulled down and removed from the crowd by security.

The plaintiff took his son to see Korn, which I didn’t even know was still touring as of two years ago. This immediately took me on a whirlwind nostalgia trip back to high school, when Korn, Blink 182 and Limp Bizkit were the rock palate cleansers between boy band and Britney Spears videos on “Total Request Live.”

The injury took place during the band’s performance of “Freak on a Leash,” which I remember for the music video with the bullet but which the lawsuit describes as

a song which uses dissonance, distortion, and incoherent language to express moods of intense anger, uncontrolled drama, and sarcasm. The song has a reputation for being aggressive, evoking strong reactions, and inciting raucous or violent behavior from audiences, including crowd surfing…

If only The Fillmore had hired Chrissie Hynde for crowd control.

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