Monster Jam (Presented by: Built Ford Tough)

posted Jan 20, 2009
THE TACOMIC - Monster Jam (Presented by: Built Ford Tough) ()
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1/19 - Investigation into Monster truck death continues, BE Daily Blog

1/18 - Family mourns son killed at truck show, Tacoma News Tribune

1/18 - Parts of monster truck examined after boy's death, KOMO TV

1/17 - The Show Must Go On: Monster Truck Kills Small Boy, Deeble Interactive

Search: "monster truck, tacoma", Google News

Monster Jam Online

Tacoma Dome Home

Natural High Monster Truck [archived version]

by jenyum on 1/20/2009 @ 9:33am

by NineInchNachos on 1/20/2009 @ 12:26pm
look for Matt Driscoll's column in this week's volcano!

by jenyum on 1/20/2009 @ 5:01pm
A prior incident at the Tacoma Dome:

A Korn fan is suing the city of Tacoma, Washington, because he got knocked over at a concert and was forced to leave, despite being injured. The fan claims in a suit filed in Pierce County Court last week that he was jumped on and knocked down a level in the Tacoma Dome, breaking an arm and a hip. Security offered him no help, but told him to leave or he would be arrested, he claims in the suit, which also names the venue and Pro Staff security as defendants. ...

by jenyum on 1/20/2009 @ 5:36pm
More proud moments for the Dome:

2005: Tacoma Dome refuses to not sell alcohol at high school athletics events

...tacky. Not that I think kids are going to be injured by the mere whiff of alcohol, but it seems like a pretty reasonable request, and pretty tacky for parents to be drinking at a high school game.

by jenyum on 1/20/2009 @ 7:04pm
Other unfortunate incidents at the Dome seem to have more to do with the bad acts of others,

like this stabbing death in 1986:

And this precedent setting case involving Wackenhut's failure to check into the background of a security guard who assaulted a girl under the bleachers:

Scroll down to "Wackenhut Meets Bon Jovi"

That's about it, as far as I can determine.

by NineInchNachos on 1/20/2009 @ 9:20pm
interesting dome trivia. Thanks Jen!

by NineInchNachos on 1/21/2009 @ 5:24pm
tacoma weekly coverage:

"It is common for events that pose a potential for danger to spectators, such as hockey pucks flying into the stands during a game, to have a warning in small print on the back of tickets. This states that the bearer of the ticket assumes any and all risk associated with attending. Combs said tickets to Monster Jam contain similar language."

by fredo on 1/21/2009 @ 6:37pm
A jury is free to consider all the evidence presented at a civil trial. They may even choose to disregard the liability waiver on the back of the ticket. For the record, a six year old can not be bound to a contract, in fact he probably couldn't even read.

by jenyum on 1/21/2009 @ 7:14pm
Here's the standard in Washington State as far as I know, for such releases.

(1) they violate public policy, or
(2) the negligent act falls greatly below the standard established by law for protection of others, or (3) they are inconspicuous.
Vodopest v MacGregor, I don't know that a release really gets them off the hook. First of all, the parents would be releasing liability for their child, which is always a sticky issue. Secondly, can you really disclaim all liability for a monster truck that was carted off in pieces by a fork lift earlier in the show, particularly for kids? And how conspicuous is that waiver of liability?

Anyway, whether or not it gets them off the hook legally I still find it repugnant to have not at least canceled the second day of shows.

This statement in particular sticks out:

The promoter agreed to inspect all trucks prior to each subsequent show, “which is more than they would normally do"

by jenyum on 1/21/2009 @ 7:21pm
OK, here we go.

Scott v. Pacific West Mt. Resort

A parent does not have legal authority to waive a child's own future cause of action for personal injuries resulting from a third party's negligence.

by NineInchNachos on 1/21/2009 @ 8:28pm
i'm sure the waiver is just meant as a preemptive 'scare crow' to keep poor and uneducated folks from getting it in their minds to sue.

by fredo on 1/21/2009 @ 8:30pm
Mr. Nachos@ Precisely

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 1/21/2009 @ 10:11pm
Aren't the poor and uneducated pretty much the target demographic for these Monster Truck exhibitions?

by NineInchNachos on 1/21/2009 @ 10:47pm
new link!

by Dave_L on 1/21/2009 @ 10:57pm
I wonder if the removal of the truck by forklift earlier could have had anything to do with the catastrophic failure of the driveline.
"Donations to help the family may be made at any branch of US Bank....Contributions should be made to the Sebastian D. Hizey Memorial Fund, a business account at the bank."
Like the last time(s) a high-profile Tacoma tragedy involving a child made national news, it seems like it's the only thing the average person can do to help.

by fredo on 1/22/2009 @ 12:32am
I think the liability waiver gibberish is on the back of all tickets even if you attend the Nutcracker Ballet.

by NineInchNachos on 1/22/2009 @ 12:38pm
Weekly Volcano's Matt Driscoll is tacoma's own keith olbermann. It's good to see local reporters able to vent their righteous indignation. More More!

by jenyum on 1/22/2009 @ 8:37pm
New link:

The family has retained a lawyer. Evidence collection is going to be really difficult, because the scene wasn't preserved.

by NineInchNachos on 1/22/2009 @ 10:12pm
thanks for slapping those commenters around Jen. Yiesh I tell ya those tribune commenters are animals!

by Erik on 1/22/2009 @ 10:15pm
I think the liability waiver gibberish is on the back of all tickets even if you attend the Nutcracker Ballet.

I don't think the standard waiver is going to help much here.

by jenyum on 1/25/2009 @ 12:47pm
A new story on the Trib site:

A promoter for the Motor Sports Monster Truck and Thrill Show has died from injuries in an accident at the Dane County [Wisconsin] Coliseum in the second fatality at a monster truck event nine days.

A longer article appears on KOMO's site:

The show was immediately halted and the next day's shows were canceled.

by Urban E on 1/25/2009 @ 6:03pm
Carma is a b@#*h!

by NineInchNachos on 1/25/2009 @ 6:56pm
it is really to bad a promoter died and not a small child because The audience could have still gotten their monies worth of monster trucks.

by NineInchNachos on 3/2/2009 @ 9:31pm
One officer wrote in his report that he and another officer were working off-duty as security for the event. The officers, dressed in full uniform, had just left the scene of a reported fight in the stands when they were called to what was believed to be a large fight in the 11B area of the Dome concourse.

Instead of a fight, they found Hizey and Smith being treated. The area was filled with people and the roar of monster truck engines made communication “next to impossible,” officer Scott Newbold wrote in his report.

by NineInchNachos on 11/27/2009 @ 9:36am
Monster truck show to return to Tacoma - Nearly a year after a 6-year-old boy watching in the stands was killed by flying debris, the monster truck rally where it happened is coming back to Tacoma.

by Dave_L on 11/27/2009 @ 11:18am
"...and made no special safety requests."
Incredible, R.R. I caved to pressure and went to the show the day after the tragedy, not knowing what had happened the night before. I'm a fan of traditional motorsports, but this is a lot of horspower being converted and released into haphazardly in all directions. Throwing dirt (in hopes that nothing is in the dirt) haphazardly in all directions inside one of the more compact venues of the show circuit.... Quickly hauling off broken-down rigs with forklift only to run again in a later round... What an anniversary gift.
The City Manager should do something.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 11/27/2009 @ 2:13pm
The Luzon never killed anyone and look at what Eric Anderson did to it. Surely he'll act on this before it is too late.

by jenyum on 11/27/2009 @ 3:25pm
A more detailed story, from KING 5. A bit buried on their website.

by NineInchNachos on 11/28/2009 @ 4:55pm
Hey dave, didn't a worker fall to their death off the roof of the tacoma dome trying to clean that sucker?

Just how many deaths IS the tacoma dome responsible for?

I do not feel safe and clean. Let's start an email campaign right now for the city manager to destroy the T-dome. If we can convince him, NOBODY can stop him!

by L.S.Erhardt on 11/28/2009 @ 5:34pm
We'll need to raze the T-Dome for adequate land to build the LeMay car museum so that Parking Lot A can remain untouched in it's pristine condition.

Furthermore, this will boost business at the Convention Center by 1000%

Also, it will keep all those Red-Blooded, Truck-Lovin, American-Patriot, Jet-fuel-exhaust-breathin' rednecks outta our town and make them stay in Enumclaw where they belong... thus improving our image to cold, heartless multi-national financial services corporations.

We must do this for the children, so they grow up as respectable yuppies without a sense of fun or humor, who will never know the 1 in 100,000,000,000 chance of HORROR as an axle malfunctions and tears into the crowd at 17% of c.


by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2010 @ 8:42pm
"attorneys for an Edgewood man who was injured in the same accident don’t believe the hazards have been erased, and worry someone could be hurt again.

The company that produces the popular Monster Jam events “is making it appear that the issues have been resolved so they can sell tickets, and that’s alarming,” said Tacoma attorney Jack Connelly, who filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court last month on behalf of Eric W. Smith and his family."

by panachronic on 1/14/2010 @ 9:10pm
I'm with Thorax. The accident was tragic, but it was really no different from the accidents that occur every single year at professional baseball games across the country (and yes, sometimes those accidents are fatal). They don't stop baseball games when a fan gets hit, and nobody bats an eye about it.

I think the real issue here for the FT crowd is that they don't care for the shows, and -- more significantly -- they don't like the people who pay to see them.

by fredo on 1/14/2010 @ 9:27pm
When you attend a baseball game there is a reasonable expectation that a baseball or part of a baseball bat will fly into the stands.

When you attend a monster truck show there is no similar expectation. One does not expect a truck to fly into the audience nor do they expect a truck to explode and send shrapnel into the stands.

It would be interesting to know if juries agree. I can't imagine a jury awarding much to spectator hurt in a baseball game, but the guy hurt at last years monster truck show will probably get millions.

by NineInchNachos on 1/14/2010 @ 9:35pm
maybe i'm just soft because I'm a new dad and I get angry and depressed when I think about an event in the Tacoma Dome removing the top of some little kid's head.

by jenyum on 1/14/2010 @ 9:42pm
I got a discount card for tickets with my drink order at Forza that week last year and actually thought about going. Not my thing personally but I thought my kids might like it.

The real issue for me is a that a child died right there in the stands and they didn't stop the show, didn't cancel the next show, and scheduled the next year's show for the same week, almost as though it never happened.

The article says Feld claims they've made some important safety changes now. However, they hadn't implemented any of these things before the show went on last year, the very next day.

This is the language from Smith's suit:

Defendant Feld knew about the problem, did not do anything to fix the problem before the Tacoma Dome incident, covered up the problem, has not done anything about the problem since the Tacoma Dome incident, and apparently is not intending to actually fix the problem – despite representations to the media that it has addressed the problem,” the lawsuit says.

Well, if that's true I suppose we should know. It will be interesting to see what comes out as the suit progresses. I think it's notable Smith didn't file suit until the news came out that Feld was coming back this year.

You are right to compare this to baseball and other professional sports, in that the same "assumption of risk" is likely to come into play, legally.

I don't think whether or not Feld is legally liable is really the question, however. I think this quote from the Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare & Ethics really sums it up:

"From a public health viewpoint, the central question is can more be done to reduce and prevent spectator injuries at sporting events?"

To me, that's the question that should have been at the forefront from the very second the accident happened.

by L.S.Erhardt on 1/14/2010 @ 11:42pm
To me the question is about responsibility vs risk.

Yes, there absolutely need to be safety standards.
But not even the most brilliantly crafted standards can foresee all possible mishaps, accidents, et cetera. Short of shielding the audience behind a 10 foot thick Lexan wall, how do you stop the one in a million chance of an axle becoming airborne?

If all reasonable and legal safety rules are in place, there is then a certain question we have to ask ourselves about responsibility vs risk.

Anything having to do with powerful machinery rotating and moving at high speeds while burning large quantities of jet fuel does carry some amount of inherent risk. As does operating a 4000 lb vehicle at speeds in excess of 88 feet per second. As does going to a Sadhawks game. As does sneaking up to RR on his left side. As does consuming waaaaaaay too many hot dogs.

How much risk do you feel that you can responsibly handle?

It is terrible that a child died. But how many safety precautions can you take before you end up never leaving the you house that is filled with no sharp or hard objects?

by fredo on 1/15/2010 @ 1:32am
Hockey rinks have lexan shields to protect the spectators. Is that a reasonable or an unreasonable precaution?

by panachronic on 1/15/2010 @ 6:21am
"maybe i'm just soft because I'm a new dad and I get angry and depressed when I think about an event in the Tacoma Dome removing the top of some little kid's head."

RR, I'm not unsympathetic to your point of view, but it makes me cringe nonetheless. Our society has perpetrated some of it's most glaring tyrannies under the banner of "It's for the children!" Too often, when somebody starts out on that premise, in the end some adult somewhere gets screwed.

by KevinFreitas on 1/15/2010 @ 6:45am
@panachronic -- I love me some hulking machinery smashing and fire and vrrrrrrrooooooommmm goodness!

Overall, I feel with baseball you can at least have a glove handy to stop what's coming. As Thorax said, pump up the fuel, speed, and throw a bunch of metal in there and what can you use to defend against that? Not a glove.

by panachronic on 1/15/2010 @ 6:48am
Point taken, Kevin.

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2010 @ 8:11am
Is the Tacoma Dome the best venue for monster trucks? I have no idea. Has anyone asked the folk who designed it their opinion?

by fredo on 1/15/2010 @ 8:34am
How about the Pythian Temple?

by NineInchNachos on 1/15/2010 @ 9:19am
perhaps the temple could handle HO Scale monster trucks

by panachronic on 1/15/2010 @ 10:05am
How about the Elk's Lodge? I'll bet the trucks would look cool going up and down those old stairs.

by NineInchNachos on 1/10/2012 @ 2:17pm
they're back!

by ixia on 1/10/2012 @ 6:54pm

Grave Digger is back - and he is mad as hell!!

by cisserosmiley on 1/11/2012 @ 7:43am
I threaten to go to this each year and never do...I think this is the year

by NineInchNachos on 1/11/2012 @ 8:31am
bring army helmets!