Gwen Stefani is being sued by a woman who was injured in a “stampede” created by Stefani during a recent show in Charlotte, North Carolina. According to the Charlotte Observer, Stefani encouraged fans from lawn seats to fill in empty space in reserved seating and the standing section in front of the stage. This allegedly caused a mad dash for the front as fans pushed passed security and clamored over barrier fences.
The suit claims that, “Stefani unilaterally announced…that all patrons in the lawn seating area should come to the reserved seating area and the front of the performance stage. This announcement created a stampede rush of patrons from the lawn seating area through the reserved seating area…with people knocking over and breaching the security barricades…jumping over seats in the reserved seating area, and pouring in through the aisles separating the various sections of the reserved seating area.”
The plaintiff, Lisa Keri Stricklin, claims that her leg was broken in the rush by fans pushing past and over her. She is seeking $150,000 to cover her medical costs.
The Observer reported that Stefani encouraged security to allow fans to fill in empty seats saying, “I don’t think anybody’s gonna care.” She reportedly told fans, “Just fill in anywhere you like. Who cares about your lawn chairs? You can get new ones.”
Later in the show, Stefani informed the crowd that they had to return to their seats saying, “I got in so much trouble for telling you guys to come up here…It was fun. … But you guys kind of have to move out of the fire lane, or else I’m dead. … So can you please get back to your seats?”