Pair Wins $650K From CCE

A couple who claimed they were roughed up by security at a 2003 concert at the Post-Gazette Pavilion near Pittsburgh won a $650,000 judgment from Clear Channel Entertainment, now operating as Live Nation, for their troubles.

An Allegheny County jury on February 2nd found CCE participated in the “assault, battery or false imprisonment” of Marco and Kathryn Lopez and was negligent in the hiring, training or supervision of security guards at the shed.

The Lopezes said security guard Thomas Lahey asked to see their tickets at a June 10, 2003, Poison concert. Matters escalated when Lahey took two of the couple’s tickets and gave them away.

When Kathryn Lopez requested to speak to the venue manager “to report the theft of our tickets,” Lahey brought over another security guard who falsely claimed to be the manager, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The guard, identified by the paper as David Lemmon, allegedly grabbed Marco Lopez around the head and neck, bent him over and kneed him in the face. He was treated by paramedics for a dislocated jaw and a split lip after being “dragged” to a security tent by other guards.

A Hanover Township police officer cited him for disorderly conduct. A district judge later dismissed the citation.

The couple sued CCE and the township in 2004. Hanover settled the case by paying the couple and their attorney $10,000 each.

“The jury was sending a clear message to Clear Channel that they had to improve their supervision, training and screening of the persons they employed to perform the duty of security personnel at their concert venues,” said attorney Timothy O’Brien, who represented the couple.