Theatrics are common in UFC media events. Pushing, insulting and hurling water bottles are simply part of the hype one can expect in the build-up to a high-profile mixed martial art bout. But when Conor McGregor and several of his associates charged into the Barclays Center on Thursday night, it was anything but your run-of-the-mill fight promotion.
McGregor and his team threw hand dollies and trash cans at a passenger bus, injuring at least two fighters scheduled for bouts at UFC 223. McGregor was supposedly responding to a perceived threat against his friend and ally, Atrem Lobov, in an ongoing feud between McGregor’s camp and the camp of Khabib Nurmagomedov, a Russian fighter scheduled on the main card on Saturday night to determine the heir to McGregor’s lightweight champion status.
Because of the incident, Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were injured and deemed unfit to fight. It isn’t clear whether others might have suffered injuries as well, but UFC president Dana White said that a UFC employee’s knuckles were broken in the scuffle, and he hinted at the possibility of other injuries.
Who Could Be Held Responsible for Injuries in this Case?
How McGregor and his crew got into the building is a major issue, and it could have implications for potential civil litigation cases.
UFC president Dana White said he was informed by the police that members of the Mac Life, a media company that promotes McGregor, let the Irish mixed martial artist and his team into the building. White also said that they should be arrested for doing so.
If the Mac Life team is responsible for facilitating his entrance into Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, then they might also bear liability if civil litigation is pursued by the injured parties. Yet another liable party could be the Barclays Center.
To understand why the sporting venue could be partially responsible for injuries that occurred on the property, it’s worth taking a second to understand premises liability and negligent security cases. Property owners and managers have a responsibility to keep their premises safe. If someone suffers an injury because of unsafe property conditions or, relevant to the McGregor case, because of lax security, the owners/managers might bear legal responsibility for the costs of injuries suffered as a result.
Obviously, McGregor, too, could be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit, because he was directly responsible for the incident.
What Could Be at Stake in Civil Litigation?
In cases of personal injury, premises liability and negligent security, there are always injuries and associated costs at the heart of litigation. Injuries are expensive. Money is required to pay for medical tests and treatment. Expenses vary, depending on the severity of the injury and the duration and extent of required care.
In the case of the injured fighters, however, the injuries also carry a significant professional cost. Not only could they be losing money directly because their fights were canceled, they are also losing other opportunities, such as being showcased in a prime-time event like UFC 223 and having the chance to further their careers through a potential victory in the octagon.
If Chiesa’s or Borg’s injuries were significant enough to impact their ability to perform, then the economic damages are even greater. Fighters’ careers are short, both on time and opportunity. For McGregor, the incident in the Barclays Center was the chance to settle a perceived insult from a rival. For the two mixed martial artists who were caught in the crossfire, it was major professional setback.
It’s unclear what civil litigation might arise from Thursday night’s incident at the Barclays Center, but White seems to think there could be several cases filed against McGregor.
In a YouTube video posted Thursday by ESPN, White said, “A handful of people here already that are filing lawsuits against Conor McGregor. God knows how many lawsuits he’s going to have by the time this is done.”
If you’ve been involved in a personal injury or negligent security case, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC to learn more about your legal options. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation.