The father of a 14-year-old boy crushed to death at an AC/DC concert has filed an $8 million wrongful death suit against the band and companies connected with the concert, including a local radio station and concert promoter.
Bruce C. Child, father of Curtis Child, filed the suit in 3rd District Court against the Australian band, its managers, the agency that books AC/DC's engagements, the company that manages the Salt Palace, the company that provided security at the concert, the local concert promoter that brought AC/DC to town and the radio station that sponsored the concert.The suit said that "willful, malicious conduct" by the defendants resulted in irreversible brain damage to Curtis Child caused by compression asphyxiation. Child was one of three teenagers crushed to death at the AC/DC concert Jan. 18 in the Salt Palace.
Jimmie Luke Boyd, 14, and Elizabeth Glausi, 19, were also crushed to death when fans piled on top of each other in an attempt to reach the stage as the band launched into the song, "Thunder Struck."
Boyd died the night of the concert. Child and Glausi died from their injuries two days later.
Bruce Child did not name Salt Lake County as a defendant in the suit, but that is only because state law requires those suing state and local governments to first file a claim with the agency, explained his attorney, R Craig Clark Jr. of San Diego.
"That claim will be filed shortly," he said.
If the county rejects the claim, Child will then name the county as a defendant in his suit.
Clark is not representing Lucy Child, mother of the deceased. The parents are divorced.
Bruce Child seeks $3 million in general damages, $5 million in punitive damages and an unnamed sum in special damages such as medical costs and funeral expenses.
"Mr. Child is horribly, horribly distraught over this thing," Clark said. "His most fervent hope is that Curtis not die in vain; that this not happen again. By suing all the people involved in this tragedy, hopefully we can stop them from doing this in other places. Hopefully, we can save some lives."
Festival seating in the Salt Palace is blamed for the deaths. Under a festival seating arrangement, tickets are sold under general admission and fans gather on the floor to listen to the band instead of sitting in assigned seats.
United Concerts, a local concert promotion company, is a "main defendant in the case," Clark said. They are responsible for promoting, putting together and selling the concert, he said.
Utahn James McNeil, president of United Concerts, is identified as a defendant.
KBER Radio 101.1 FM is the second Salt Lake defendant. "The station advertised and promoted the concert," Clark said. "The day of the concert, they announced there were another 500 general-admission tickets available for the concert.
"They have been promoting concerts like these for a long time. They had to be aware of the kind of seating situation at the Salt Palace."
KBER's owner, Devine Media Corp. in Delaware, is also named in the suit.
A station spokeswoman said they "have no comment at this time."
Child also sued Contemporary Services, a California security company with an office in Salt Lake City, for not fulfilling their obligation to guard the fans. "The guards couldn't stop the concert. They couldn't save those people from being suffocated. The guards simply didn't guard," Clark said.
Spectacor Management, a Pennsylvania company that manages the Salt Palace, was named in the suit along with Salt Palace manager David Meek. The company's risk manager in Philadelphia was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
The suit seeks a trial by jury.