Guard trampled after USC football game sues university for negligence

Aerial view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where a security guard alleges he was trampled by fans after USC's football team beat Stanford.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A security guard who says he was trampled by fans rushing onto the football field after USC’s narrow win over Stanford last year has filed a lawsuit accusing the university of negligence.

In an eight-page complaint filed Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court, David Bueno says that USC should have done more to keep fans from stampeding and describes the post-game rush as “an atmosphere of havoc.”

One of three guards in charge of manning a stairwell that leads down to the field, Bueno claims that fans stomped on him, injuring his head, lungs and back, and bruising his entire body.


USC did not immediately provide a comment.

Bueno, who worked for a Northridge-based company that USC hired to patrol during the game, blames the university, as well as the California Science Center, the Pac-12 Conference and the city of L.A., for not putting up barricades to stop fans from rushing onto the field.

Fans in the sellout crowd at the Coliseum stormed onto the field after the 20-17 victory, clinched by a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the game.

The lawsuit says the university didn’t fulfill its duty to sufficiently plan ahead for “the magnitude of a nationally significant game like USC v. Stanford so that fans, players, coaches, officials, and security personnel are not ‘left in the lurch’ by inadequate security.”

Bueno, who said he repeatedly relives the experience of the stampede, is suing for an unspecified amount of money.

Follow me @marisagerber.