13 Charges Of Negligence Brought From 2012 Radiohead Stage Collapse In Toronto

Nick Giannettino

by Nick Giannettino

Published June 10, 2013


Almost a year has gone by since the catastrophic stage collapse before Radiohead were to play a sold-out concert in Toronto. During the incident, drum technician Scott Johnson was killed and three others were injured. The show was cancelled and Radiohead postponed much of their 2012 tour as they grieved and went about fixing and replacing damaged equipment.

It is reported that last Friday, the Ontario Ministry of Labor filed suit against the show's promoters, Live Nation Canada and Live Nation Ontario Concerts GP - who both received 4 charges each. Four charges were also filed against Optex Staging and Service, and the final charge went to engineer Domenic Cugliari, altogether totaling 13 charges.

The Toronto Star stated the following on the matter:

The ministry alleges that Live Nation failed to ensure the structure was designed and constructed to support or resist all likely loads and forces, it was adequately braced, there were no excessive loads and every employer complied with the act.

Engineer Domenic Cugliari is charged with "endangering a worker, resulting from his advice or certification, made negligently or incompetently." He has not given a statement on the matter thus far.

In their "vigorous" defense, Live Nation gave the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

We absolutely maintain that Live Nation and our employees did everything possible to ensure the safety of anyone who was on or near the stage involved in the tragic incident that led to the unfortunate death of Mr. Scott Johnson.

The Hollywood Reporter states that the court hearings for the following charges will take place on June 27th at the Ontario Court of Justice. Matt Blajer, the ministry's spokesman, stated that "the maximum fine against a corporation, if convicted, is $500,000 per charge. Individuals face $25,000 per charge or up to a year in prison."

Johnson's best friend and colleague, Australian Pink Floyd drummer Paul Bonney, stated that these legal actions "will never bring Scott back, but (the charges are) a little bit of closure... A day doesn’t go by without me thinking of Scott; he was my best mate. When I first went back on the road... I was in tears."

Also in Johnson's memory, Radiohead took the stage for the first time since the collapse a month later in Nimes, France. At that show, onstage projections were shown in memorial of Johnson.


Hopefully, better security measures will be issued for concerts to prevent these types of tragedies in the future.

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