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Surprising Chicago Symphony Assault Reminds of Common Risks

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2012 | Chicago, Civil Lawsuits, Civil Lawsuits, Safety, Security, Workplace Violence |

Depending on who you are, a visit to the symphony can be described in many ways. “Inspiring,” if you are a classical-music lover; “boring,” if you are not. Most, however, would agree a night at the symphony is a sophisticated event, with an expectation of refined etiquette from its audience. So it’s easy to imagine that readers of the Chicago Tribune newspaper did a double-take upon reading its recent headline: “Fight Night At Chicago Symphony Orchestra”.

According to the paper, a fight broke out in the middle of a recent performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. As the orchestra was drawing towards the end of the second movement, loud noises were heard overhead in one of the reserved box seats. Despite the fact that these box seats are considered the domain of the upper-crust of society, an argument over seats had descended into the ranks of a back-alley brawl. Following a heated discussion, one “gentleman” in his 30’s repeatedly struck a 67-year old man then fled the theater before police arrived. The victim suffered a cut to his head, but declined further medical treatment. The orchestra, itself, never missed a beat.

While this story is surprising to most and amusing to some, the reality is that such assaults occur far too regularly. Of course, one can safely assume a trip to the symphony is usually free of assault and battery, but what about a drive down the road, a walk to the store, or a normal day at school or work? Almost all of us can recall a moment where we or someone we loved was threatened or attacked during a seemingly day-to-day activity. For example, frightening incidents of road rage have been experienced by most drivers. Approximately 1.7 million workers annually are victims of violence at work according to a study by the U.S. Justice Department. And in schools, bullying is common, ranging from verbal taunts and threats, to physical assaults. Recently in California, for instance, a 10-year old girl died as the result of a blow to the head during a school-yard fight. Sadly, the reality is that regardless of lifestyle or location, you can’t completely prevent the possibility of such events. But there are important steps you should take if you are a victim.

First, always report any kind of assault and/or battery to an authority such as police, even if only threats were involved. Not only may this possibly prevent any further escalation, it may provide important documentation of the event. Second, if a physical altercation took place, always seek medical help. Seemingly mild injuries can actually be far more serious than originally thought, especially blows to the head. This too will provide important documentation. Also, take pictures of any injuries or damages to property to record the occurrence, and get the names of any witnesses if possible. Third, consult an Illinois personal injury lawyer. It’s important to know that whether or not your attacker is charged with or found guilty of criminal activity, you still may have grounds to file civil charges. A civil suit may help you to recover such things as medical expenses, damages to yourself or to your property, and may provide you with an important sense of justice.

About the Author: Brooke Haley is a Marketing Associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation attorney that practice in the areas of Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts in the State of Illinois. For more information about Illinois workers compensation lawyer,please visit

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