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Published on September 6th, 2017 | by Alan Cross

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Charges Stayed in Radiohead Stage Collapse Trial: The Justice System Failed

Late in the afternoon of June 16, 2012, part of the canopy over a stage where Radiohead was to perform at Downsview Park in Toronto collapsed. Three people were injured and Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson was killed. There was an investigation and a year later, a total of 13 charges were filed against Live Nation, the promoter, Domenic Cugliari, an engineer working on the project and Optex Staging, the company that provided the set-up.

There was delay after delay. Then this spring, the presiding judge recused himself from the case because he’d been promoted, meaning that he had to give up jurisdiction over the trial. This led to a mistrial, which, in turn led to the defendants filing a motion to have the whole thing thrown out because justice was moving too slowly.

On Tuesday (September 5), the new judge ruled that the whole thing had taken too long and therefore violated the rights of the accused to a speedy trial. While acknowledging that this decision would be devastating to the family of Scott Johnson, there wasn’t much that could be done from a legal point of view.

Read more about the judge’s decision here.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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