On March 12, 2011, Mr. Shram accompanied a friend to the Englewood, CO X-Treme Challenge Arena in order to pick up the friend’s teenage daughter from a birthday party. The “X-Treme Challenge Arena” was a sports facility used for “American Gladiator” style competitions, birthday parties and teambuilding exercises. As Mr. Shram was leaving the building via the common-area exit, he was struck suddenly in the face with a large weighted medicine ball. The ball had been thrown or otherwise was launched into the air in connection with an athletic contest that was being conducted for a bachelor party in the adjoining gymnasium. Mr. Shram sustained severe injuries including an acute right intertrochanteric comminuted fracture of the right hip, with displacement, requiring surgery with insertion of hardware (a rod and two pins).
We brought suit against the building owner under Colorado’s Premises Liability statute on the basis that there was no protective barrier between the common area exit and the gymnasium – the gymnasium was separated from the common-area exit only by a loose string of netting. We retained an expert witness familiar with the various international regulations governing sports facilities and indoor arenas to testify in the case. During his deposition, the owner of the facility admitted that the loose string of netting used to divide the gym and the exit was leftover from the prior company that leased the building, and that he had never performed any kind of safety check to be sure that the netting was capable of protecting patrons who were entering and exiting the building.
Shortly after the deposition of the building owner, the case settled for a confidential amount.