Eighteenth birthdays are certainly a cause for special celebration. Unhappily, an eighteenth birthday party in Aurora got out of hand when the site of the party was posted on social media while the party was ongoing. Over 150 teenagers gathered at the house that was the scene of the party. As the result of vigorous dancing, the living room floor collapsed, sending dozens of teenagers plummeting into the basement.
The party was a gift from the homeowners to their granddaughter on her 18th birthday. At some point during the party, one of the party-goers put a notice of the party and its location on social media. Soon, many uninvited guests showed up. Witnesses estimated that the total number of persons at the party was about 150. As young people do, this group began wild, enthusiastic dancing in the living room. After an unknown amount of time passed, the floor collapsed. The dancers fell into the basement room that was below the living room. An unknown number of teens suffered mild to serious injuries. Three individuals were taken to a hospital, one with serious injuries. No further details on the medical condition of the three were released by authorities.
Who is liable for the injuries?
It’s a very safe bet that this incident will prompt several lawsuits. The major issue, of course, will be establishing liability. Was the house defectively designed or constructed? The answer is “unlikely,” because no one could reasonably have foreseen 150 engaged in a wild dance on the living room floor. What about the grandparents? Were they negligent in failing to instruct their granddaughter to limit the number of people in attendance? Perhaps, but again, the foreseeability of the incident is questionable. The eighteen-year-old granddaughter may be deemed old enough to have foreseen what might happen with more than 100 persons dancing vigorously in a relatively small space.
This case obviously involves a number of complex legal issues. Anyone injured under these circumstances may wish to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion about the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost present and future income, future disability and pain and suffering.