Personal Injury Court. Good day, everyone,
this is the matter ofLarson v. Reinhardt
and Clarkson.Mr. Larson, it’s this
court’s understanding that you are suing
Ms. Reinhardt and Ms. Clarkson for $2.4 million
for past medical bills, $100,000
for future medical bills and $2.5 million
for pain and suffering for a total of $5,000,000. -[audience exclaiming]
-Is that correct? [Larson] Yes, Your Honor. And Ms. Reinhardt,
Ms. Clarkson, you all believe that his injuries
are his fault. That is, you provided
a concert, he was injured, he got what he paid for. -[both] Yes, Your Honor.
-Is that correct? All right, let’s get into
the legal sauce. Mr. Larson, tell me how you got to going
to this concert? Well, Your Honor,
me and my girlfriend have been dating
for two years now. We met at a video game
convention two years ago and we shared
similar interests. [Judge Brogdon]
Both you all are music lovers?Yes. I’m also a pro gamer, so I play video games
competitively and sometimes for stream online. -You get paid
to play games?
-Yes. -Yes, Your Honor.
-Okay, all right. So we were wanting
to do something special for our two-year anniversary, and we have never been to an Epik Starr concert together. Epik Starr is
my favorite artist ever.I’ve been to well overten Epik Starr concerts
in the past.-So, you really like
-Yes. Ms. Starr,
that’s gotta feel good. -Yes.
-To have fans
who love you like that? Yes, Your Honor. And I just love
the way she talks about love and peace
in her music. -Um…
-So she really connects
with you with her music? Yes, and I think she connects
with a lot of her fans when you go to her concerts. They’re energetic events. You go and everyone
is full of energy. Ms. Clarkson, you are
the owner of this venue, right? -[Peggy Clarkson]
Yes, Your Honor.
-And you have these kind of -concerts all the time?
-All the time. We actually really wanted
Ms. Epik Starr to come and perform because
it was her American tour, it was the last leg.It’s a pretty hyped type
of atmosphere,so it was standing-room only.And she did an amazing job. So, Ms. Starr, you’re
expecting all these fans
out there, right? -Yes, Your Honor.
-People who love you. Yes, Your Honor. Does it ever get old for you? No, it doesn’t, um,
my most important thing is to make sure
my fans are happy. Like he said, I’m about
peace, love and just connecting with my fans.
And that’s the most
important part, making sure
that everyone’s safe and everyone’s having
a great time, pretty much. [Judge Brogdon]
And you mentioned “safe,”
I imagine when you realized -that this young man
-[Samantha Reinhardt] Yes. …it kind of got to you? Yes, Your Honor,
’cause like I said I do care about my fans,
so it does bother me
that he is injured. So, Mr. Larson,
you and your girlfriend, you go the venue,
where do you decide to stand? Well, we wanted to get as close to the front of the stage as possible because
seeing her up in person, she really brings
the energy to the whole crowd. -She’s got a good show?
-Yes, exactly. And she has this signature move
she does near the end of every concert. -A signature move?
-Yes, where she, um, stage dives off the concert and then crowd surfs around
for a while. Tell me, how it happens
and what do you do? At every single one
of my concerts, I always do the stage dive, -a crowd surf.
-Okay. At every single one of them. Like he’s said, he’s been to
ten to 20 of my concerts, -so he knows this, that…
-[Judge Brogdon] You do it
every time? -Every single one of them.
-This is what
my middle son calls, “the hype move.” [Reinhardt]Yes. They love it,and that’s why I do it
at every single one’cause like I said,
it’s about pleasing them.So they love when I do it,
everyone knows, so it’s an awesome time. They know that I’m coming
because I say, “Three,
two, one, here I come.” So that they know,
that they’re ready. So it’s like,
“Three, two, one, boom.” Yeah, “Here I come,”
and then I jump out
and then, you know… they know that I’m coming. -And they catch you?
-They know to be careful
and to pay attention, catch me and everything, yeah. And that’s what
you anticipated, Mr. Larson? That she was gonna
jump off the stage? Absolutely, um, we were
trying to– Tell me how you got hurt. Well, Your Honor, we knew that at the very end of the concert, Epik Starr does
her signature stage dive. And since we knew
that was coming, we were hoping
to get out a little early to avoid the crowds when we were leaving
the concert hall. And so we were on our way out, I turned around and suddenly I feel a sharp
pain in the back of my neck. Now when you turned,
did you turn away
from the stage? -Yes, Your Honor.
-Okay. -Towards the exits.
-So what happened next
after you turned? I felt the sharp pain
in the back of my neck, and it crumpled me over. My girlfriend came over
to see if I was all right. And when I turned around,
I saw that Epik Starr had kicked me in the back
of the head. If you were turned around,
there’s no way you could see if I kicked you. So, Ms. Starr,
do you remember this event? No, I do not
recall this at all. Ms. Clarkson, were you there? -[Clarkson] I was there.
-What do you remember? Your Honor,
I did not see the kick, however I did
see him fall down. I sent over
the head of security. He’s been with me ten years,
I trust him. And I went over
to see if he was okay. He stated that he was fine,
that nothing was hurt, that he was okay. So, Mr. Larson,
at that time you were okay? -[Matthew Larson] Yes.
-You felt the pain
but you weren’t -feeling much more
-It seemed like a minor injury at best, I was with my girlfriend, I didn’t want to seem
like a wimp needing help
out of the theater. But by the time
we got to our car, I was having such
an excruciating headache that I didn’t feel safe
driving anymore. -And this was caused
by the stage dive?
-Yes. if I kicked you. Ms. Starr, look at
the plasma here. This is kind of…
Is this the way it happens? Yes, Your Honor. [Judge Brogdon] Is this how
you end up when you connect-with the crowd?
-Yes, Your Honor, it is.That’s why I don’t see
how there’s any way that I could’ve kicked him,
how high they hold me up, like I said, I say,
“Three, two, one, here I come.” They know I’m coming,
so they hold it up. That way, it’s all safe. Okay, so Ms. Starr
jumps off the stage, you feel an impact
to the back of your head. Then what happens? Well, Your Honor, the next day
I woke up with continued severe head pain
and whiplash. And you didn’t feel this
the night before when you were at the concert? No, it got much worse
overnight. Um, and when I finally decided to
do something about it, my girlfriend took me to the ER and the doctors confirmed
that I had whiplash from a blunt force trauma
to the back of my head. The headaches were
included in that, the doctor gave me
a neck brace and told me to keep
an eye on things, but it didn’t get better
after that. -Your Honor–
-In fact, ten days later, I suffered a stroke. [audience gasps] For the record,
how old are you? Twenty-four years old,
Your Honor. -[audience exclaiming]
-[Clarkson] Your Honor. And you believe this stroke
was caused by this stage dive? Yes, the doctor that I saw… And the kick in your head? [Larson] Yes. And he said that
he had this ten days later, so I don’t get how that has
anything to do with my concert. I’m sorry
that it happened to you,
it’s a terrible thing… -[Clarkson] Absolutely.
-Especially at your age, but… [chuckles] It wasn’t my fault
if it happened ten days after. Your Honor, I would like to point out that I do
have a witness to the kick
in the back of my head. -Okay.
-While I had turned around to leave, my girlfriend was still
behind me… -And I see that…
-…watching Epik Starr. -…you brought
-Yes, Your Honor. Could you please
step to the podium, so I can hear from you? ‘Cause I wanna hear
what you saw. For the record,
what is your name? My name is Gina McNeil. Now, Ms. McNeil,
you were at the concert with Mr. Larson, right? -Yes, Your Honor.
-Tell me what you saw. I saw Epik Starr kick him in the back
of the head. [Reinhardt] That is not true. -[Judge Brogdon] But– But…
-I didn’t kick him. -Excuse me.
-Obviously, you’re going
to take your boyfriend’s side. -[gavel bangs]
-Folks, we need to have order. I saw Epik Starr kick him
in the back of the head. Please continue, Ms. McNeil. Yes, Your Honor,
so he was definitely in pain. The security guard
also witnessed it happen along with myself. I also have proof of
the text message he sent me… -No, no, no.
-…the next morning. Excuse me, I’m talking. -Ma’am–
-So the next morning,
he texted me talking about headaches
and trouble breathing and chest pains. -But that’s not proof
that I did it.
-Your Honor… So, um, you said
you have a text message
with you? -Yes, Your Honor.
-Uh, Sheriff Matt, could you retrieve that
from Ms. McNeil? [Clarkson] Your Honor,
while you’re waiting
on that text message, you heard Mr. Larson
state that we offered him– So, Ms. McNeil, this is the text message
that you received? [Gina McNeil] Yes, Your Honor. This was the day after
this concert? The morning after. And this is what
you received it reads. [Judge Brogdon reading] That’s ridiculous. Now, ten days later,
you have a stroke? [Larson] Yes, Your Honor. Tell me how that developed,
what happened? How did you know
something had changed? Well, the headache
kept getting increasingly worse as the time went on. And another symptom
that I started experiencing was trouble breathing. And these just progressed
and continued progressing, clearly to the point
where I had a stroke. I really am sorry. Ms. Clarkson, you look like
you are in pain. Tell me what’s on your mind? I’m just really baffled
at the timeline. What bugs you is the ten days. That and the fact that
we offered him… -We did our due diligence.
We followed protocol.
-[Judge Brogdon] Yes, ma’am. -So, for…
-But it can’t
really surprise you that someone would
get injured when a person jumps
from the stage… -[Reinhardt] Well, Your Honor–
-Actually, it does. -It actually does.
-Actually, I have the… Your Honor, I have
the shoes I was
wearing that night. They’re fuzzy boots,
I can show you. And there’s no way
something like this… -So, Mr. Larson, you were
kicked with that boot?
-…could’ve caused him -any trauma to the head.
-[Larson] I was kicked
with that boot with a person wearing it. [arguing indistinctly] Sheriff Matt, would
you retrieve that boot for me? [Judge Brogdon]
Let me see the boot. Your attitude hurts, honey. And Matt, I’m telling you
it’s not your size, okay? -[audience laughing]
-A little bit too small,
Your Honor. Now, as I feel on this boot,
there’s a lot of padding. This is what you
were kicked with? With someone’s foot
inside of it, yes. -And, Ms. McNeil…
-It collided with the back
of my neck. This boot hitting him
in the back of the head -is what you remember?
-Yes, Your Honor. [Clarkson] She gave them
a, “Here I come.” -“Here I come.”
-Why would you turn around? Mr. Larson, did you hear,
“Here I come”? -I…
-Well, let me ask you this. Had you heard it in
the past at Ms. Starr’s
concert? -Yes, Your Honor.
-So you know
the dive is coming. -Yes, Your Honor.
-Exactly. [Judge Brogdon]
Did you hear it that night? Your Honor, I did hear the… -Hmm.
-Thank you. “Here I come,” uh, coming from the stage. By the time we’re walking out,
it all happened so fast. And he chose to turn around. Exactly, I was already
turned around. But I never hit anyone,
someone else could’ve hit you. -Yes, you did.
-[Reinhardt] You heard,
“Here I come,” and you had the precaution. Order in this court. -[gavel bangs]
-We’ll have order
in this court. One of the problems
you all are having with this is that
there is a ten-day delay between the concert
and the stroke. This court consulted
a doctor… -Okay.
-…who’s gonna give us
some light on this ten-day delay. All righty. -Sheriff Matt,
will you go get Dr. Vaughan?
-[Sheriff Matt] Sure. [door opens] Dr. Vaughan, come on in. [Dr. Nilam Vaughan] Thank you. So, Doctor, for the record,
state your name, please? My name is Dr. Nilam Vaughan. Dr. Vaughan,
could you please explain the plaintiff’s injuries? It appears that Mr. Larson suffered from
a blunt force trauma to the back of his head and later suffered from
a vertebral artery dissection. Doctor, explain what happens
to the body when a person
is having a stroke? So, you have an injured vessel,
you have blood going through, and it either gets stopped all the way and blocks
the artery, or it goes through very slowly. What happens
is that you can’t have enough oxygen in your brain which you need
for it to keep functioning. See that area right there?
All that black area? That’s dead tissue
from a lack of oxygen, which is what we know
as a stroke. [audience exclaiming] Once the tissue dies,
what happens to the brain? All that brain, that corresponds
to things in your body. So, basically how your body
is damaged depends on how much
your brain is damaged? Absolutely,
and where it’s damaged. Now, Doctor,
here are ten days from day one when he’s hit in the back
of the head till the time
of the stroke. Is that possible? Yes, it’s possible,
in fact, it’s likely. [audience exclaiming] -[Judge Brogdon]
Thank you, Doctor.
-My pleasure. You are released. Mr. Larson, obviously
these injuries have been pretty
difficult for you. Your Honor, for me, these injuries
are life-changing. I make my money
playing video games and I need both my arms in order to play games
properly. For me, this is game over. It is not game over,
this is a new game beginning. This is a challenge,
but your injuries
do not define you in any way. You still have
a very bright future and it’s time to get excited
about the new normal. -So things are gonna be okay.
-[audience clapping] Thank you, Your Honor. This is what you were
kicked with? I think I’ve heard enough. I’m ready to render
my decision. [audience clapping] In every personal injury case,
there are three elements, the plaintiff,
the people suing, that you, Mr. Larson,
must prove that your injuries were caused by
something they did wrong, that is, wrong caused injury. Here, you decided to go to a concert
with your girlfriend, you did not expect
to have a life-changing event. And here we are. You all expected
kind of the same thing. To have the last leg
of your tour be triumphant
with this stage dive, and that your forum hosted
yet another successful event. The problem is, is something
obviously went wrong. Here, Mr. Larson, you kind of knew she was
gonna jump off the stage, in fact,
how she was gonna do it ’cause you heard,
“Here I come.” Mr. Larson, you were aware that there was a risk of injury. Here you understood she was gonna
dive off the stage and I find that that makes you
partially responsible for this. But I find that you all
are mostly responsible for it because this whole thing
could’ve been prevented if you hadn’t dived off
the stage. Just common sense
that when you dive off a stage, even a petite woman
like yourself, someone can get hurt. Someone did get hurt. Mr. Larson, you are suing
Ms. Reinhardt and Ms. Clarkson for $5,000,000. -Yes, Your Honor.
-[audience exclaiming] Mr. Larson, I’m not giving you
the full $5,000,000 because you were
partially responsible. And I find that
you are 20% responsible for your injuries. Ms. Reinhardt, Ms. Clarkson, I find that each of you
is 40% responsible for Mr. Larson’s injuries. And in that regard,
Mr. Larson, I’m not giving you $5,000,000, but I am
awarding you $4,000,000 -against these defendants.
-[laughs] -That is my final decision.
-[gasps] -And this matter
-[gavel banging] [audience clapping] [chattering indistinctly]