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Radiohead Stage Collapse: Mistrial Declared, New Trial Ordered

A new trial has been ordered against Live Nation and others charged in Radiohead‘s 2012 stage collapse in Toronto, which killed the band’s drum technician Scott Johnson. Prosecutors confirmed to Pitchfork that a mistrial was declared after the presiding judge, Justice Shaun Nakatsuru, was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court last year, effectively negating his jurisdiction.

This postponement could jeopardize the entire case due to the Canadian Supreme Court’s new trial time restrictions established last year. As Toronto Star reports, provincial court cases must now go to trial within 18 months, and Superior Court cases within 30 months.

The fatal concert took place in June 2012 at Toronto’s Downsview Park. Prior to Radiohead’s performance, a piece of the outdoor structure fell down, crushing and killing Johnson, 33, and hurting three other workers.

Shortly after the deadly collapse, the Ontario Ministry of Labour began an investigation of concert promoter Live Nation Canada. In 2013, the Ministry brought charges against Live Nation, scaffolding company Optex Staging and Services and engineer Domenic Cugliari under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Last October, Justice Nakatsuru denied Live Nation’s request to throw out charges on unreasonable trial delays. A defense lawyer is reportedly planning to submit a similar request, and prosecutor David McCaskill told Pitchfork that a hearing on the delay motion is scheduled for late August.

In 2013, Live Nation issued a statement refuting the charges and emphasizing the company would “vigorously defend” itself. “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 statement read.

Radiohead canceled part of its 2012 European tour following Johnson’s death. In July, at their first rescheduled show following the incident, the band honored the drum tech with a poignant version of In Rainbows track “Reckoner,” as images of Johnson flashed behind on a screen. 

The band also dedicated their most recent LP, 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, in Johnson’s memory. 

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