For most people, the 4th of July is an enjoyable and relaxing holiday. For the thousands attending the fireworks show in Sumi Valley, however, the day ended in a terrifying and stressful way when the city-sponsored show went horribly wrong. Almost 10,000 people were in attendance and eagerly awaiting the start of the show when most attendees noticed that the fireworks stopped shooting into the sky, sending the pyrotechnics into the large crowd. The wooden platform holding the live fireworks tipped over just as the show began, directing the fireworks straight into the audience. Spectators immediately started fleeing but many of those who were videotaping the show caught the terrifying accident on videos as shown below: 


(Credit to YouTube user camstack1)


(Credit to YouTube user "WeAreTheSavageNation")


Legal Commentary – Majed Nachawati – Author

The accident left 4 seriously injured and 20 people were taken to the hospital for moderate injuries. One police officer has shrapnel tear through his leather belt and clothing. Luckily, emergency crews were already at the accident site and treated the most minor injuries at a triage area. Unfortunately for all involved, however, it appears that someone’s negligent actions most likely caused this terrifying accident. 

Simi Valley Police Commander Stephanie Shannon states that the structures that held the fireworks collapsed. Other authorities state that early detonations were to blame for the accident. Once these detonations took off, several canisters of live fireworks tipped over, shooting across the ground. That begs the question: Did the company that was hired to install the fireworks, Bay Fireworks, neglect to ensure that a structurally secure frame was properly was installed and that the fireworks detonated at the correct time? The show has been sponsored by both the city and the local Rotary Club for the past 43 years. In this case, they may also be held responsible for the injuries that the accident caused. They did, after all, have a responsibility to hire a capable firework installation company and to ensure that the show was safe for residents to attend. 

In this scenario, it may be possible for any individual hurt by the firework explosion to bring a claim against the city of Simi Valley, its Rotary Club, and the company hired to install the fireworks for their negligence. Though their actions were admirable in wanting to produce a show for Simi Valley residents, they also had a duty to keep residents safe and failed to maintain that duty, which resulted in several injured residents. As with other big accidents, the insurance companies of all parties involved will want to mitigate and downplay this accident but an individual who hires an attorney will be able to find out why the accident occurred in the first place and whether or not it could have been prevented. . 


About the Author: 

Majed Nachawati is a preeminent personal injury lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in work accidents, premise liability, and product liability claims. Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk who has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict, resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. That’s why Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases across the nation and has clients in every state. To discuss your case with Mr. Nachawati, contact him by email at or by telephone at 1.866.705.7584. His legal background is featured at his Super Lawyers Profile.