Gainesville Vigil Chaos: Advocating for Injured College Students’ Rights

On October 9, 2023, the University of Florida witnessed a panicked stampede during a nighttime vigil honoring Israelis killed in the Hamas attacks resulting in students being injured in Gainesville.

Surveillance videos showed that police were surreptitiously looking into a neighbor’s overheard statement earlier that day that an older man in the college town intended to detonate a suicide bomb inside a backpack.  Students claimed they were not informed about the threat, which many claim had not been reported.

Reportedly, at least thirty students were injured in Gainesville after a woman had fainted. The crowd shoved Caitlyn Schiffer, 20, of Plainview, New York, down onto concrete and trampled her, inflicting a concussion and hurting her arm. Schiffer stated, “I had no idea what was going on.” “I realized in an instant that I had to stand up or face certain death. I was thinking that there was a gunman and that my life would end if I didn’t get up right away. “

An anonymous student stated that being informed about the threat before the vigil, “That would have been better.” It would have given us additional information with which to decide whether or not to attend the vigil. It would have made a difference to have that knowledge, she continued. “I wouldn’t have gone.”

Property owners are generally responsible for keeping their premises safe and conducting reasonable crowd control. A lawyer can help a person injured in a stampede caused by a college’s failure to inform students of a dangerous condition on the property by pursuing a legal case.

It’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss the case’s specifics and determine the best course of action.