HEALTH & SAFETY
Live events sector
A new trial has been set for the defendants charged after the stage collapse at an outdoor Radiohead concert in Toronto five years ago, which killed British drum technician Scott Johnson, then aged 33.
Johnson was killed and three others were injured after scaffolding collapsed. The show was promoted by Live Nation and the live music giant was subsequently charged under Ontario’s Occupational Health And Safety Act. Optex Staging & Services Inc was also charged over four alleged breaches of health and safety laws, while an engineer working on the show, Dominic Cugliari, faced a single charge.
The case had progressed progressed for some forty days, and closing arguments were expected but a mistrial was declared after the presiding judge, Justice Shaun Nakatsuru, said that his recent appointment to the Ontario Superior Court meant he no longer had jurisdiction over the case. Nakatsuru said he came to the decision with “great regret” saying “My appointment was unexpected and without notice. I know that the defendants have waited a long time for the final resolution of this case. So has the public” and “There are many compelling reasons why it would be in the best interests of justice for me to finish this. But I cannot.”
It has been reported that Live Nation will now seek to have the case dismissed on the basis of unreasonable court delays. Live Nation had already attempted to have the case dismissed on those grounds once before. Live Nation’s new request for dismissal should be considered in August. If unsuccessful, the new trial is scheduled to being in September.