WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC/WJLA) — Four Philadelphia Eagles fans who were injured after a railing collapsed at FedEx Field in Maryland in January are suing the Washington Commanders.
According to a report from ABC 7News in Washington, D.C., Michael Naimoli, Andrew Collins, Morgan French and Marissa Santarlasci, all from New Jersey, say they’re still dealing with injuries they sustained when they fell from the stands onto the field at the end of a game between the Eagles and Commanders, who were known as the Washington Football Team at the time.
They have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland against the Commanders and other defendants asking for an award “in excess” of $75,000 per person.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was on his way from the field to the visiting locker room after their final away game of the regular season, a 20-16 win over Washington on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, when a railing above him gave way.
The fans who were leaning on the railing in an attempt to get a high-five from Hurts fell several feet onto the ground below, injuring an Associated Press photographer and nearly injuring Hurts, who wrote an open letter to the Commanders afterwards asking them to take action.
The team said in a statement: “To our knowledge, everyone involved was offered onsite medical evaluation and left the stadium of their own accord. We’re very glad no one appears to have been seriously injured. The safety of our fans and guests is of the utmost importance and we are looking into what occurred.”
According to a later report by ESPN writer Tim McManus, the fans said they did not receive any medical aid from Commanders personnel, who instead allegedly told them to get off the field.
Additionally, the lawsuit states, “At no time did any of the Defendants advise the Plaintiffs and others to avoid leaning against the railing. To the contrary, upon seeking permission from CSC employees/agents, Plaintiffs were directed and guided down to the railing area alongside of the tunnel. At no time did any of the Defendants inform, warn, or provide any information whatsoever to Plaintiff’s suggesting that leaning against the subject railing was a danger.”
According to Washington Post Commanders reporter Nicki Jhabvala, the complaint names the Commanders as defendants in the suit, as well as WFI Stadium, Inc., a corporation run by Commanders owner Dan Snyder that owns FedEx Field.
A company that provides security and ushers, as well as a group believed to have offered design and upkeep services for FedEx Field, are also named as defendants.
The Maryland House of Delegates recently awarded $400 million for the development of the area around FedEx Field — the NFL’s ninth oldest stadium — in an attempt to encourage the Commanders to keep playing there.