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Rock Star Must Pay $60,000 in '92 Melee

March 19, 1994|E.J. GONG JR.

Rock star Ozzy Osbourne's insurance company has been ordered to pay $60,000 to a Burbank electrician who claims he was trampled during a 1992 concert.

An Orange County Superior Court jury made the award to Kenneth Allan Winkler, 43, who claimed that he was injured in the melee that ensued after Osbourne invited a heavy metal crowd at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre to climb onto the stage.

Winkler claimed he was trampled in the melee and suffered a shoulder injury known as a torn rotator cuff. He filed a civil lawsuit against Osbourne, the concert hall and its security firm, seeking $250,000 in damages.

William I. Goldsmith of Tarzana, said his client deserved a bigger award. "This is really disheartening," Goldsmith said.

Jurors decided to compensate Winkler for only past medical expenses and lost wages, and awarded him $10,000 for pain and suffering.

Philip D. Weiss, the Universal City-based attorney for Osbourne's insurance company, said Osbourne's actions were "a really stupid thing to do." But he said Winkler's shoulder injury was less serious than the electrician and his attorney had claimed.

"Because Ozzy Osbourne is a star, they treated this like the lottery," he said.

On March 28, 1992, Osbourne was finishing a show at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre when, according to court testimony, the singer told the audience he wanted to make it a night to remember and invited them to join his band onstage.

About 400 people surged toward the stage after Osbourne's invitation, according to testimony.

Winkler testified that he was trying to leave the concert when he was trampled by boisterous fans.

The jury found that Irvine Meadows was not liable for the mishap, nor was the security company working that night.

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