More than 1,700 Liverpool supporters who’ve reported that they suffered bodily accidents or mental trauma as a result of the chaos on the Champions League ultimate in Paris on 28 May have registered with regulation companies to make claims for damages towards Uefa.
People signing up for the prospective crew claims come with some who reported that they sustained damaged ribs in crushes on the Stade de France sooner than the fit between Liverpool and Real Madrid, and plenty of extra reporting signs of tension and post-traumatic tension dysfunction.
At the fit, hosted by means of Uefa, the confederation of Europe’s nationwide soccer associations, hundreds of Liverpool supporters had been directed by means of French police on a hazardous selection course via a subway, resulting in a slim, bottleneck perimeter checkpoint the place massive queues constructed up right into a chance of crushing. Many turnstiles on the stadium had been then closed for lengthy sessions, resulting in static queues and an extra crushing chance, and folks had been additionally suffering from police the use of pepper spray and firing teargas. Uefa and the French government blamed Liverpool supporters for the chaos and kick-off lengthen.
Gerard Long, a spouse at Binghams solicitors in Liverpool, mentioned greater than 1,300 folks had registered their passion in a possible declare, maximum affected by mental trauma.
“We are representing people who suffered physical crushing injuries at the turnstiles, and very many people who have suffered psychologically; some were in fear of their lives,” Long said. “Clients have reported anxiety, PTSD, nightmares, never wanting to go to a European football match or even France again.
“Our case is that Uefa as the organizers had a duty of care to people – who paid a lot of money for tickets – and they breached it.”
The national firm Leigh Day has registered interest from 400 people who were at the match supporting Liverpool, said Jill Paterson, the partner leading the potential group claim. She said clients had reported suffering trauma and physical injury including broken bones and bruising from the crushes at the turnstiles, and injuries from being hit with police batons and shields.
People had given “actually surprising” accounts of crushing, violence and distress, Paterson said, and reported panic attacks, anxiety, sleepless nights, flashbacks and fears for their safety at future matches.
“Our shoppers have informed us that they had been beaten and teargassed, and in concern for his or her lives,” Paterson mentioned. “Some are people who were previously affected by the Hillsborough disaster.
“Thousands of people spent their hard-earned money on tickets and travel to what should have been a world-class event. Their safety should have been guaranteed; that is what they paid for as part of their ticket – a well-run event with all the necessary safety and security protocols and resources in place. There is no excuse for the chaos and trauma that unfolded. We were approached by one Liverpool fan almost immediately after the event and we have been looking into this since then and liaising with French lawyers to build a strong case to try and get some redress for the fans.”
Long and Paterson said their firms were in the final stages of gathering and reviewing the evidence and, working with French lawyers, preparing to write to Uefa detailing the claims.
Liverpool said this week that they had sent testimonials from 8,500 supporters to Uefa’s “independent review” of the near-disaster. Billy Hogan, Liverpool’s chief executive, said the evidence of supporters’ “harrowing experiences” identified congestion, insufficient travel information, problems at the perimeter checkpoint and turnstiles, “excessive riot policing tactics”, lack of communication, “the emotional impact of the incorrect reason for delayed kick-off” and problems getting in and out of the stadium.
Uefa declined to respond to questions from the Guardian about the proposed legal claims. It has said it will no longer respond to any questions about the events until its review has produced its report, which is expected at the end of November.
Uefa has said it sincerely apologises “to all the fans who had to experience or witness frightening and distressing situations that evening. No football fan should be put in that situation, and it must not happen again.”