Falls Stampede Victims File Class Action Lawsuit Against Festival

15 March 2017 | 8:04 pm | Staff Writer

Organisers say the festival will “definitely be going ahead in 2017”.

A number of punters affected by the stampede at Falls in Lorne last December have reportedly come together to file a class action lawsuit against the festival.

Regional Victorian law firm Maddens Lawyers put a call out to those “injured or traumatised as a result of the stampede” via their website and on Facebook in early January, and as triple j’s Hack reports, the firm has today filed a class action against the Falls Festival organisers on behalf of approximately 65 people, with more expected to come forward.

“The allegation is that if proper care and attention had been taken to configuring the area where the acts were taking place, and the scheduling of the successive acts this stampede would not have occurred, that this was entirely avoidable,” Maddens Lawyers' Brendan Pendergast told Hack.

"It wouldn’t surprise me if damages of that order [over $1 million] were payable...but it’s very early days.”

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Despite the class action lawsuit, Falls Festival co-producer Jessica Ducrou told the triple j program that Falls would “definitely be going ahead in 2017”.

“We are cooperating with WorkSafe in its investigation. We have had regular contact with affected patrons since the incident and are providing ongoing assistance,” Ducrou said.

“However, given the matter is as of today the subject of legal proceedings, we are not in a position to comment further."

The stampede occurred on December 30 at the Grand Theatre at the conclusion of DMA'S performance and saw 60 punters seen onsite and 19 transported to hospital.

One of the punters caught up in the crowd crush spoke out about the incident a week after it happened, stating, “you could hear bones snapping from pressure” as people were struggling to breathe.