The Why Concert


On December 1, 1978, Peter, age 15, was killed at the Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum. Peter had gone to the Coliseum to attend a concert by The Why, a rock-and-roll group. He and 10 others were killed when the crowd trampled them to death.

P, Peter's father, has brought a wrongful death diversity action in federal court against D1, the owner of the Coliseum, and D2, the promoter of the concert. P's complaint alleges that the defendants were negligent in overselling general admission tickets and in failing to control the crowd of ticketholders waiting to get in and that the defendants' negligence caused Peter's death. Specifically, P alleges that the defendants sold more tickets than there were seats, did not admit the gathered crowd of ticketholders in a timely and orderly manner, and failed to provide sufficient access, security, and crowd control. Both defendants have filed general denials and affirmatively pleaded contributory negligence and assumption of the risk.

At trial, P calls W to testify that she has been to 12 rock concerts at the Coliseum in the past year. She says that at every concert there was a mad scramble for general admission tickets, a press of people outside the doors until they opened a half-hour or so before the scheduled starting time of the concert, and once the doors opened a violent rush for the best seats and standing room.

Should W's testimony be accepted?

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