Eagles fans injured after FedEx Field railing collapse file lawsuit against Washington commanders


Four Eagles fans who were injured when a railing collapsed during a game at FedEx Field earlier this year have filed a personal injury lawsuit against NFL Washington Commanders, seeking $75,000 in damages and interests for each.

New Jersey residents Michael Naimoli, Morgan French, Marissa Santarlasci and Andrew Collins filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Maryland on Friday. The plaintiffs, according to the lawsuit, fell approximately 5 to 10 feet onto the concrete walkway of an exit tunnel after a railing lining the tunnel collapsed following a game between the Eagles and what was then known as the Washington Football Team on Jan. 2 at the stadium in Landover, Md.

In addition to the commanders, the defendants include FedEx Field owner WFI Stadium Inc., security firm Contemporary Services Corp. and the stadium maintenance contractor Company Does.

The damages sought for the four plaintiffs total $300,000. According a recent assessment by ForbesWashington Commanders are worth $5.6 billion.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs suffered serious injuries such as “cervical strains, muscle strains, bone bruises, cuts, bruises, headaches” and other physical and emotional damage resulting from the fall. The plaintiffs, according to the lawsuit, are still receiving medical treatment for their injuries.

The incident happened after the Eagles’ 20-16 win over Washington. The plaintiffs, according to the lawsuit, gathered at the railing to greet the Eagles players as they walked off the field.

Fans leaning on the railing fell into the tunnel after the barrier collapsed, narrowly missing Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was seen helping some of those who fell their feet.

Hurts, according to the suit, was “the only person providing care, aid and assistance” to the plaintiffs, adding that none of the defendants in the case assisted them. Video of the incident shows several fans falling and nearly making contact with Hurts. Several fans appear to quickly come back and hug Hurts, and one man tries to capture a selfie. Security guards can be seen lifting a railing and leading Hurts fans away into the stands.

“It was actually crazy how calm and cool and collected he was about everything and how well he handled this situation,” the plaintiff Collins told The Inquirer in January. “He was like, ‘Don’t worry about me, are you okay?'”

After the game, the Washington team released a statement saying that to its knowledge, “all involved were offered on-site medical evaluation and left the stadium on their own accord.” The lawsuit says the plaintiffs were asked to “obtain the [expletive] out of the stadium” by security personnel and were not examined for potential injuries.

Members of the security staff allegedly told the complainants that they were allowed to enter the area near the railing and that no employee or stadium manager had warned them not to lean on the railing. The railings themselves, according to the suit, were “inadequate, insufficient, deteriorated, unmaintained, uninspected and, in all material respects, deficient.”

Instead, the railings were not securely installed and “could literally be lifted out of the rail bracket” in which they were placed, the suit alleges, adding that the railings were secured together with “thin plastic zip ties.” .

The incident and the defendants’ response afterward, according to the lawsuit, show “a total, outrageous and grossly negligent approach to properly dealing with” gambling participants, including the plaintiffs.


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