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| Saunders and Walker

The security personnel at concerts can get a little heavy-handed at times. When the guards at a Clear Channel event roughed up one couple they did $650,000 worth of damage – to Clear Channel’s wallet. A jury was not impressed with the guards or the hiring practices of Clear Channel. Similar bad manners by concert and event guards have been reported in Tampa Bay.

A jury ordered Clear Channel Entertainment Inc. to pay $650,000 to Marco and Kathryn Lopez.

The jury found that Clear Channel participated in the “assault, battery or false imprisonment” of the Lopezes, and was negligent in the hiring, training or supervision of its guards at the P-G Pavilion in Hanover Township.

The jury ordered Clear Channel to pay $20,000 in compensatory damages to Mr. Lopez, $5,000 in compensatory damages to his wife and $312,500 in punitive damages to each of them.

The Lopezes said a guard took away two of their tickets at a June 2003 Poison concert and gave them away. Guards roughed them up when they complained, they said.

Marco Lopez also was detained and was cited for disorderly conduct by Hanover Township police. That charge was later dismissed.

“The jury was sending a clear message to Clear Channel that they had to improve their supervision, their training and their screening of the persons they employed to perform the duty of security personnel at their concert venues,” attorney Timothy P. O’Brien, who represented the couple, said Friday.


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