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San Marcos Fireworks Show Causes Injures To Spectators


NORTH COUNTY TIMES correspondent Sarah Gordon reported that several spectators were injured, while watching the annual San Marcos Fourth of July firework show at Bradley, on July 4, 2010. A misfired  firework shot  into a crowd of people who were watching the show. One of spectators was taken to Palomar Medical Center for  burns he sustained and three others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, said Jenny Peterson, a spokeswoman for the city.  Pyro Spectacular, a well known fireworks producer who had been putting on the show for the city for several years without incident,  had no comment. The city, with the support from community donations, has put on the show for the past twenty-five years without any major incidents, said Peterson.

Applicable California Law

As a general rule government entities are not responsible for the acts of independent contractors, unless it involves a duty that can not be delegated. In this particular instance the city would most likely be immune from liability. However, if the injuries are severe enough, a timely claim should be filed with the city to preserve any potential claims, if any, as required by California Government Code Section 945.4. With regard to Pyro Spectacular, government  entities such as  the city would require adequate insurance coverage, and or bond to cover any damage or injuries. Even though the incident is still being investigated,  if the exact cause of the accident is never determined, the legal res ipsa loquitur doctrine, Latin for the thing speaks for itself, would create a rebuttable presumption of negligence . This evidentiary rule provides that the elements of duty of care and breach can be inferred from the very nature of the accident, even without direct evidence of how any defendant behaved. If the required elements can be proven Pyro Spectacular would be responsible for the damages.


The fourth of July brings people together to celebrate and watch fireworks. Large gatherings, people celebrating, and traveling often results in higher incidents of auto accidents, premises accidents, or other mishaps. Serious injuries require the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney