‘Stuck in the mud’ concert-goer sues promoter

A man who claims he got stuck in the mud at a festival and was knocked over, breaking his ankle, has sued the concert promoters.

Mark Ponisi told the High Court he fell face down in the mud at Oyygen 2007 which was described in court by another festival-goer as “disgraceful”.

American rock band Kings of Leon were on stage when IT worker Mr Ponisi was left screaming in pain with a fractured ankle. He told the court the mud on the ground reached to up just under the ankle of his wellington boots, which was three inches high.

Mark Ponisi, aged 36, Roselawn, Tipper Rd, Naas, Co Kildare, sued MCD Productions Ltd, the promoter of the music festival Oxygen 2007 in Punchestown, Co Kildare.

He claimed that, on July 7, 2007, he was lawfully at the festival when his feet became caught in mud where he was unable to move during a surge in the crowd and he fell to the ground and sustained injuries.

It was claimed that MCD failed to take any or any reasonable care to see Mr Ponisi would be reasonably safe while attending the outdoor festival and allegedly exposed him to a surface area which was dangerous and unsafe and not suitable for an outdoor event.

It was also alleged that MCD provided a place for the observation of the performance of The Kings of Leon which was not firm underfoot and was unsafe and allegedly provided a surface which constituted an unusual, concealed and hidden danger and trap.

MCD Productions denied the claims and contended Mr Ponisi failed to exercise any or any adequate caution for his own safety.

In evidence, Mr Ponisi said he was standing chatting when he was knocked down and trampled. “I was just standing looking at the stage and having a conversation when somebody from behind me knocked me over,” he said.

Steven Keane, who was with Mr Ponisi, said the ground was very mucky and “disgraceful”.

Event safety engineer Michael Slattery said he had walked the Punchestown venue on he day in question and in his view it was safe to open the doors.

Justice Mary Irvine will give judgment next week.


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