At least 24 students were injured after a stage at Servite High School collapsed during an annual rally.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the night of March 8, 2014.
The wooden stage collapsed as 250 Rosary High School’s students were performing in the school’s annual Red and Gold rally. An additional 200 to 250 parents and students were in the audience at the time.
Officials said 24 students were
taken to the hospital with moderate injuries including broken bones, scrapes and bruises. All were released from the hospital the following day.
Excess Weight on Stage
Officials say the stage had too much weight and just couldn’t take it. The stage at Servite is 50 feet wide and 25 feet deep, according to the school’s website. The auditorium was built in the 1980s and in 1996, an extension was added, which is the part that collapsed.
Although the high school’s platform stage was previously permitted for use, investigators are now rechecking the permit to see if there was a weight restriction that may have been overlooked.
Our hearts go out to all the children who were injured. It is indeed fortunate that the injuries were not life-threatening. We wish them the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
What Caused the Stage to Collapse?
Based on this news report, it appears that the stage extension that gave way was about 18 years old. However, there are still many questions here.
Was it built to code? Was the weight restriction overlooked? Why did the school allow 250 children to get on the stage at the same time? Who was in charge of the event? Was defective construction or use of poor materials a factor here?
I trust officials and the children’s parents are looking for answers to these and other questions.
If school officials are determined to have been negligent in this case, then the school can be held liable for injuries and damages caused. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, therapy, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
If the company that installed the stage is determined to have been at fault, then, that entity could be held accountable.
If a defective product caused the stage collapse, then, the manufacturer could be held liable as well.
Parents of children who were injured may want to stay abreast of the official investigation and obtain more information about their legal rights and options.