MIAMI – The trampling of a security guard by gate crashers at this year's Ultra Music Festival has led to new security and policy changes for the event next year, and for that security guard who was seriously injured, a lawsuit for millions of dollars.
The city of Miami, the company that put up the fence and a vendor at Ultra are also named in the 35-page lawsuit. According the victim's attorney, each of parties played a role in the incident that nearly killed a security guard.
Erica Mack nearly died in March after being trampled at the Ultra Music Festival in downtown Miami.
"My last recollection was of me pretty much walking the perimeter," said Mack.
The 29-year-old, who worked as a security guard, suffered a fractured skull and broken leg when gatecrashers knocked down a fence trapping Mack underneath it.
"It definitely speaks to the careless, the frame of mind that they're in to do such a thing," said Mack. "It was definitely outlandish and outrageous that they would go to that extent."
Mack along with her attorney, Eric Isicoff, have slapped Ultra with a $10 million lawsuit accusing them of negligence of ignoring calls by the Miami Police Department the day of the incident to reinforce the fencing where the incident took place.
"One of the vendors in order to get their vehicles in and out more easily and quickly asked that the area be left open," said Isicoff.
In the wake of the incident and the finger-pointing, the city voted to cut ties with Ultra, but the measure failed. In anticipation of the suit Ultra released a statement Friday that read in part:
"The safety of our event, fans, crew and personnel has always been our number one concern. Despite our best efforts to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable event for our patrons and staff, certain criminal acts will always be beyond our control even though we continue to assure that security is of prime importance. Indeed, we never condone any criminal activities, especially those of a few unlawful gatecrashers whose actions are both illegal and reprehensible.
"We continue to wish Ms. Mack the best for her future and hope she has made a full and complete recovery, but the complaint her lawyers have now filed as part of a lawsuit does not properly recite the facts of the unfortunate accident. Without question, event organizers believe that the incident was caused by illegal actions of unknown third parties for which it is not responsible."
"I just hope that it doesn't happen to anyone else," said Mack. "The end result is that this could have ended in a much different light."
Mack's attorney puts the cost of reinforcing the fence at several thousand dollars. Mack is still undergoing rehab seven months later. Her medical bills are said to be well north of $100,000.
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