On July 13, attorneys for AEG Live filed a motion to dismiss the Christina Grimmie wrongful death lawsuit filed against the company. The promoter claims that it was not responsible for her death since a contract with the young singer was never signed.
The Grimmie family is suing AEG Live (now called AEG Presents) and the owners of the venue where the shooting occurred, the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation, for failing to take adequate safety precautions to protect the performer. Grimmie opened for band Before You Exit at Plaza Live Theater in Orlando on June 10, 2016, when a deranged fan, Kevin Loibl, opened fire on the singer at a meet and greet after the show. Loibl was taken down by Grimmie’s brother and manager, Marcus, before Loibl shot and killed himself.
“As a paid performer contracted by AEG Live to perform on the Spring/Summer 2016 Tour, Christina had a reasonable basis to believe that AEG Live would undertake to be responsible for her security at the venues where she performed,” the complaint reads.
It further states: “In connection with the Spring/Summer 2016 Tour, neither Christina nor any of other of the artists had contractual privity with the venues. Rather, Christina and the other artists relied on Defendant AEG Live to enter into appropriate contracts with the venues and to make all arrangements necessary for the concerts, including security arrangements.”
Lawyers for AEG Live argue that the Grimmie family hasn’t shown any contract between the singer and the promoter and insist that no such contract exists. They claim that the Grimmie family has not “adequately pled that an employer-employee relationship existed between AEG” and Grimmie in connection to the tour.
They further express that even if there were such an agreement between the promoter and the singer, that “Florida’s Worker’s Compensation Act provides for immunity of an employer from personal injury suits for work-related injuries.”
Amplify reached out to AEG Live, but did not receive a response.
AEG’s motion to dismiss contends that, under Florida law, it is the responsibility of the owner or whoever controls the premises to protect individuals from injuries. This would place the impetuous to provide necessary security measures on the Orchestra.
Four days after AEG’s motion was filed, the orchestra also submitted a motion to dismiss claiming that the venue was not obligated to provide metal detectors and wands since it had no prior history of violence at the site and the event’s expected audience was teenage girls. It also argues that there was no foreseeable way for the venue to know a murder-suicide could/would occur on the premises. The motion further asserts the need to dismiss because the murder suicide was ‘reasonably unforeseeable.’
The orchestra is also seeking to dismiss any responsibility for Marcus Grimmie’s emotional distress since his act was “voluntary.”
The orchestra suggests that the court should require the Grimmie family to file another amended complaint with more factual evidence in order to move forward.
Both motions come after a judge in Florida’s Ninth Circuit Court dismissed the original complaint filed by Grimmie’s family in December of 2016. Grimmie’s family was given 21 days to amend their complaint, which lawyers later submitted.
In the amended complaint, Grimmie’s family accused AEG Live of negligence, breach of contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and two breaches of contract in the case of the singer’s death.
Grimmie, a former contestant on “The Voice” and a rising star in the music industry, was on tour with Before You Exit in 2016. Twelve days into the tour, they performed at the Plaza Live Theater. At the end of the evening, Grimmie held a meet and greet to sign photographs and take pictures with fans. Unbeknownst to the singer, the 27-year old Loibl had walked into the show carrying two 9mm Glock handguns, two full magazines, and a large hunting knife. Loibl shot the singer three times, killing her.
Loibl was tackled to the ground by Christina’s brother and manager, Marcus Grimmie, who sustained injuries during the conflict. Loibl then shot and killed himself. The lawsuit is seeking damages for the emotional distress Marcus faced due to the attack.
The tragic incident was immediately followed by the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando as well. On June 12, 2016 a man gunned down 49 people and wounded another 58 at a ‘Latin Night’ at the gay club.
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