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Injured Security Guard Sues Ultra Music Festival for $10 Million

Miami Herald

A private security guard who was trampled by gatecrashers at Ultra Music Festival earlier this year is suing the event’s organizers for $10 million.

Hours before the March 16 stampede, Miami police said they warned concert organizers that the fencing near Southeast First Street and Biscayne Boulevard was inadequate.

Erica Mack was patrolling that area when ticketless Ultra fans pushed their way through the chain link fence, toppling it over her. The crowd then ran over Mack’s body as they disappeared into the party crowd inside Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.

Mack was left lying on the floor unconscious with blood flowing from her ears.

She would spend close to two weeks in the hospital recovering from a fractured skull and a broken leg.

In an interview with WLRN Monday, Mack says she is still recovering from her injuries. She still doesn't have full range of motion in her left leg where doctors used metal rods and plate to fix her bone fractures.

And sometimes, she says she suffers headaches and has difficulty concentrating.

“Definitely it’s been very traumatic, very difficult afterwards,” Mack says.

The lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against Ultra organizers and the City of Miami claims the festival has a history of gatecrashing and the organizers did not provide adequate security for this known problem.

In a media statement, Ultra called Mack’s experience “an unfortunate accident” caused by the actions of illegal gatecrashers. The release also states since the gatecrashing episode that left Mack with multiple injuries, concert organizers hired former Miami Beach police chief Ray Martinez to head its security team.

“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,” the statement reads. “Indeed, we never condone any criminal activities, especially those of a few unlawful gatecrashers whose actions are both illegal and reprehensible.”

Eric Isicoff, of Isicoff, Ragatz and Koenigsberg law firm, represents Mack. He calls Ultra’s statement in response to the lawsuit offensive, saying he was surprised Ultra was trying to pass off all responsibility onto the unknown gatecrashers.

“I’m very disappointed in the statement that they issued. It really doesn't make any sense,” he says.

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