Security guard discusses injuries and $10 million lawsuit against Ultra
Last year, a security guard working Ultra Music Festival was trampled and severely injured when a crowd tried to storm the festival gates. The 29-year-old Erica Mack suffered two fractures in her skull, bleeding into her brain and a multiple break in her leg. The injury was so severe that Mack had to undergo surgery during her two week stay at Jackson Memorial Hospital; she now has a metal plate and screws supporting her leg.
Understandably, Mack is suing her employer, Ultra, its parent company Event Entertainment Group, the Bayfront Park Management Trust and the City of Miami, among other defendants. She’s demanding $10 million.
Mack spoke to Miami New Times’ Crossfade in her first interview since the accident. A former chef with a culinary arts degree, Mack said she took the event security job part-time. She was saving up to pursue a career in teaching.
Her duties were simple. “My job was to walk around the perimeter, where they placed me, to make sure that people don’t get too close to the fence or linger,” she told Crossfade.
She didn’t expect the crowd to become violent and the barricade to prove ineffective. The mob surged the fence at the south end of the festival grounds and nearly trampled Mack to death.
City officials and Mack are accusing Ultra Music Festival for failing to properly reinforce the fences that gave way to the horde, resulting in Mack’s near fatal experience.
Mack’s injuries have rendered her unable to work. After five months of rehabilitation, she still has not regained full range of motion in her leg and she is plagued by severe headaches.
Ultra responded to Mack’s lawsuit by pointing the blame at the gatecrashers. They wrote in a formal statement, “event organizers believe that the incident was caused by illegal actions of unknown third parties for which it is not responsible.”
Mack was astounded by the statement. “I personally feel the event holders are responsible,” she said. “Ultimately, they were supposed to make sure that employees, as well as guests and customers, were safe, and that meant following protocol and meeting the criteria for fencing and things of that nature.”