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Remember the Radiohead Stage Collapse Trial? It’s Ended in a Mistrial

The Bill Cosby court case wasn’t the only mistrial this week. Remember when Radiohead’s stage in Toronto collapsed and killed one of their roadies? The legal proceedings from that 2012 accident still haven’t been settled–and it may be a while yet.

To review: In June 2012, just hours before the start of a concert at Downsview Park, part of a lighting rig failed, falling onto the stage below. Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson was killed.

An investigation resulted in the Ontario Ministry of Labour filing four charges each against promoter Live Nation Canada, Live Nation Ontario and Optex Staging and Services. One charge of endangering a worker as a result of negligence was laid on engineer DomenicCugliari.

The case dragged on and on. Some 40 days of testimony were heard over the last 18 months. But this week, the whole thing came to a crashing halt when Judge Shaun Nakatsuru was promoted from his old position to Ontario Superior Court. This means he no longer has jurisdiction over the case.

Under Criminal Code rules, this wouldn’t be a problem. A judge who’s promoted during a trial has to stick with it until its conclusion. However, since this case involves charges until the Provincial Offences Act, Judge Nakatsuru had no choice to excuse himself. After all this time and all this work and all the heartache endured by the Johnson family…

Everything needs to start from scratch, which is bad enough. But there’s another problem: Under a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that places time limits on the start of trials, there’s a possibility that the whole thing could get thrown out because it’s taken too long. But if the  motion to dismiss is rejected, a new trial will begin on September 5 and continue until sometime in May 2018. A verdict would come close to the sixth anniversary of the accident.

(Via The Star)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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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One thought on “Remember the Radiohead Stage Collapse Trial? It’s Ended in a Mistrial

  • What a fucking joke. Taxes went to paying this waste of time. Poor family.


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