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Radiohead stage collapse case reaches court in Canada

By | Published on Friday 20 November 2015


A court case got underway in Toronto earlier this week over the stage collapse that occurred ahead of a Radiohead concert in the Canadian city back in 2012, which resulted in the death of the band’s drum tech Scott Johnson.

As previously reported, Johnson was killed and three others injured after a scaffolding structure collapsed onto the open-air stage on which Radiohead were due to perform. The show was promoted by Live Nation, and the live music giant and its Ontario subsidiary were subsequently charged under the Canadian province’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, Domenic Cugliari, faced one charge.

All four defendants continued to plead not guilty as the court proceedings got under way this week. Johnson’s father has travelled from the UK for the hearing, while Adrian Bullocks has testified on behalf of Radiohead’s management team.

According to CBC, Bullocks told the court that he wished one of the companies involved in promoting or producing the show would take responsibility for the tragic incident, saying: “No one’s manning up and saying, ‘Look, it’s our responsibility and we share responsibility’. It’s really quite disrespectful in a way”.

Speaking to journalists outside the court, Ken Johnson said: “Scott was our only boy so this was quite devastating, really. He was a happy guy”. He added that he planned to stay in Canada for the duration of the court proceedings, and that he hoped to plant a maple tree in honour of his son in the Toronto park where the stage collapse incident occurred, noting that the maple is “one of the best trees for making drums”.

The case continues.