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Negligent Security Involved in Mardi Gras Parade Death


It was a horrific scene at the Mardi Gras parade hosted by the Gulf Coast Carnival Association on February 28, 2017. A man was killed instantly when he fell off a pickup truck that was parked at the Interstate 110 overpass at Howard Avenue. According to the Sun Herald, he was perched on the tailgate to watch the festivities and appeared to lose his balance, plummeting a few dozen feet off the bridge to the ground below. The victim landed on a piece of rebar, essentially impaling himself. The five-foot long rebar had been placed by parade organizers for crowd control purposes and to keep the audience from parking in an unrestricted area. While the case is still under investigation, it raises many questions about a victim’s options to recover compensation under Mississippi’s negligent security laws.

Proof in Negligent Security Cases

Just as any case involving negligence, the plaintiff in a negligent security case must prove certain essential elements. Because the victim died from his injuries in the Mardi Gras parade incident, his personal representative would act on his behalf to show:

  • The defendant had a duty to protect parade spectators and patrons from foreseeable harm;
  • The defendant’s actions in placing the rebar demonstrated a failure to adhere to the legal duty;
  • The victim was harmed, in this case killed, by the defendant’s actions; and,
  • The victim suffered losses as a result.

Potential Defendants for Negligent Security Cases

Because these cases are founded on premises liability theories, negligent security matters could point to a number of different defendants. Depending on their involvement in the rebar placement, a potential defendant may include:

  • The event organizers and promoters;
  • A government agency or organization that approved the plan to place the rebar;
  • The contractor or company that was contracted by event organizers to handle such security measures as crowd control and rebar placement;
  • The owner of the property under the overpass; and,
  • Other entities involved in managing any aspect of security for the parade event.

It’s important to note that some defendants may be immune or have partial immunity from negligence.

Fault of the Victim

There is a possibility that the victim’s own actions led to the accident that claimed his life. For instance, he may have been impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs, which resulted in him losing his balance and falling off the tailgate. In Mississippi, there is a law regarding contributory negligence. While this type of claim will not apply to completely bar recovery, the financial compensation may be reduced by the amount of fault attributed to the victim.

Trust an Experienced Biloxi Personal Injury Lawyer

Proving a case for personal injury due to negligent security is very complex, especially if the defendant claims that a victim is somewhat responsible for his or her injuries. You risk being undercompensated for your losses unless you retain a skilled lawyer with specific experience in negligent security cases. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice have handled many of these cases for clients in the greater Gulfport area, pursuing those responsible for misconduct in providing security. Please contact our Biloxi, MS office today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.


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