Lady Gaga’s brand building engaging behaviour has resulted in a potential lawsuit from a fan.
Lady Gaga is an impressive entertainer. She’s beautiful, talented, and successful. Her popularity among her fans is further powered by her authentic character and engaging behaviour. However, yesterday during a show in Las Vegas, Lady Gaga’s engaging behaviour may have resulted in injury to a fan.
Lady Gaga Jumps on Fan and Falls Off Stage
This video posted on YouTube shows Lady Gaga jumping onto a fan. The fan bounced her up a couple of times for her to get better positioned. As the fan continued to bounce his right foot tipped to the edge of the stage causing it to slip off. The weight on his left weight then caused him to buckle onto his left knee and shin. From the video it looks like he may have injured his knee and lower leg. This sort of fall with that extra weight could cause serious injury to a knee joint and surrounding tendons.
Fortunately, from the video Lady Gaga and her continued performance, it does not appear as though Lady Gaga herself was injured. For the fan this could have been a once in a lifetime opportunity, one that his body could possibly remind him of in his later years, especially in colder weather. Or he may have been lucky and only gotten a few bruises.
Fans are hopeful that this won’t change Lady Gaga’s engaging behaviour at her concerts. However, it does bring about the question of liability and lawsuits. Successful performers, well any professional for that matter, are targets for lawsuits, even if the situation wasn’t their fault.
Potential Lawsuit for Lady Gaga
If the lawyers smell money or a good insurance policy, they will put forth some sort of argument as to why the target is responsible for their client’s injuries. In this case, I question what the fan was doing on stage. Is he a real fan, or was he placed on stage by the Lady Gaga team?
According to www.stuff.co.nz, “During the show, at Park MGM’s Park Theatre, the 33-year-old invited a male fan on stage, who excitedly picked her up, prompting the singer to wrap her legs around his waist. ” The website goes on to mention, “… Gaga hitting the ground first, before the man lands on top of her – all to the soundtrack of screams from the audience. “
If he is a real fan, what measures were put in place to prevent this type of behaviour, which any promoter would expect of fans? Why didn’t security stop him? By jumping on him, is Lady Gaga now responsible for the injury? Would a fan reasonably expect a beautiful, successful Lady Gaga to jump on him while he’s on stage? Of course, if he was in fact invited to go on stage and then jumped on, that alone may set the tone of any lawsuit.
These sorts of questions, often used by legal teams to push or defend a lawsuit, often determine liability. From a business perspective, the more important question is does Lady Gaga have insurance against this sort of thing and does it cover her in light of her behaviour? Does the promoter or venue have this sort of insurance? What clauses are in the contracts between Lady Gaga, the promoter and the venue that determines each parties responsibilities in situations like this? Is this sort of situation even covered in any of those contracts?
Get Adequate Insurance!
Regardless, this is the sort of behaviour that has helped Lady Gaga build her brand and her fans wouldn’t want her to change because of this incident. This makes for a good example to other brands that are using strategy or tactics to engage the audience, which could result in injury and potential risk to the business. Make sure you have the proper controls and insurance in place to limit your liability.
Hopefully Lady Gaga and her unnamed fan are both okay from this incident and that it is something he can tell his grandchildren about.
Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. (Tel: 416-564-0245)
DISCLOSURE: I’m Managing DIrector of a firm that provides branding and crisis management services to celebrities and international brands. I’m also a fully licensed Real Estate Broker in Toronto, Canada providing real estate investment services to celebrities and senior corporate executives. Lady Gaga is not presently my client, nor am I compensated for writing this post.
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