A Georgia jury has ordered Sony Music to pay $160 million in punitive damages following the deaths of two attendees during a Cousin Stitz concert in 2017.
At a concert at the Masquerade nightclub in Atlanta’s underground development on November 12, 2017, a gunman opened fire, injuring four people.
Jovan Diaz and Ewell Inoa, then 22 and 21, died of “catastrophic injuries,” according to a separate complaint filed by the victims’ estate in 2018.
The shoot took place before Stephen Goss, professionally known as Cousin Stiz, took the stage.
Sony Music Holdings, Masquerade Night Club, its CEO Brian McNamara, and other entities involved in the promotion, management and security of the concert “failed to ensure that the facility and the concert were safe for guests at the venue.” said the complaint. read.
Despite recent fatal shootings at nightclubs, schools and other establishments, the defendants have failed to implement the critical measures and security safeguards necessary to ensure the safety of Cousin Stitz concertgoers. No, Diaz and Inoa’s legal team argued.
Both victims died after suffering “horror, shock, emotional distress, and devastating injuries,” according to the complaint.
According to court filings, the concert’s promoter, planner, supervisor and manager, Sony Music Holdings, failed to implement security measures and to conduct a reasonable inspection of the concert venue.
On December 15, 2022, a jury in DeKalb County, Georgia ruled in favor of the victim’s family.
A Sony Music spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by MBW.
Parker Miller of Atlanta Attorney Beasley Allen, who acted as lead counsel in the case, said: This was a mass shooting at a crowded concert. there have been multiple deaths, [Diaz] When [Ynoa] As eyewitnesses outlined, they suffered greatly before losing the battle for their lives. ”
“The trial was very emotional because of what these families and the world have lost. One of these men was said to be a father just hours before the shooting happened. Combined with the fact that he endangered people, this defendant will refuse to participate in legal proceedings and will be sentenced as we have seen here,” Miller added.
“There is no excuse for how poorly secured this piece was,” said Tiffany M. Simmons, managing partner and client team member of Simmons Law in Atlanta, Georgia. .
“These men had over 100 years to live. They had an entire musical career ahead of them. We hope it sends a message that it will not be tolerated,” Simmons added.
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