High-profile lawyer Mark Geragos has filed a $100 million class action suit against Ja Rule and his fellow Fyre Festival organizers. Filed on Sunday, the suit calls the disastrous festival a “get-rich quick scam” and is seeking damages for Geragos’ client, Daniel Jung, who spent over $2,000 on a ticket package and airfare to the festival in the Bahamas. The suit is seeking to cover all plaintiffs burned by festival organizers, including some who spent $100,000 for the event presented by Fyre Media.
Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Adkins), Billy McFarland, and other defendants yet to be named are being sued for breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and two counts of fraud, including intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation.
“Shockingly, Defendants had been aware for months that their festival was dangerously under-equipped and posed a serious danger to anyone in attendance,” Geragos wrote in the case’s civil complaint. “Individuals employed by Defendants have since acknowledged that no infrastructure for food service or accommodations was in place as recently as last month—the island was totally barren—and that the few contractors who had been retained by Defendants were refusing to work because they had not been paid. Various news outlets began describing these logistical problems and labeling the festival as a ‘scam’ weeks ago.”
Beginning in December, Fyre Media began promoting the Fyre Festival, an immersive weekend on a remote private island filled with music and luxury accommodations. When attendees began to arrive Thursday evening, they were greeted with a starkly different scenario, including disaster-relief tents for shelter, rationed food and little to no help or information from festival staff.
“The festival’s lack of adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care created a dangerous and panicked situation among attendees,” the suit said, adding that attendees were unable to avoid the harsher elements of the island in the small cluster of FEMA tents that were provided, but already soaked and battered by the wind and rain.
Geragos, who has worked with Michael Jackson and Chris Brown, claims in the suit that the defendants were unable to get off the island because of their dependence on the organizers due to both transportation and the fact that the festival had been billed as a cashless event and attendees had uploaded all their funds to wristbands. Defendants were unable to obtain personal transportation because local buses and taxis required cash, which they were instructed would not be needed. So attendees were stranded in airports and locked into facilities without food or water while they waited to be flown off the island.
— Lamaan (@LamaanGallal) April 28, 2017
The suit is filled with various social media posts that displayed the abysmal qualities of the luxury festival. It shows photos and captions of the meager food accommodations, the questionable luggage storage, and various side-by-side images of what was promised and what was delivered by the festival. One attendee reportedly passed out from being locked in a nearby facility with other concert goers.
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 28, 2017
The suit claims that the defendants had no infrastructure for food service or accommodations as recently as a month prior to the festival’s first weekend. In addition, it states that vendors were pulling out of the event because they weren’t being paid. In the midst of all this, organizers were still promoting the festival and delivering assurances of its safety and comfort.
It is alleged that the organizers, Ja Rule and McFarland specifically, personally reached out to celebrities and performers, informed them of the situation, and encouraged them not to attend. Meanwhile they failed to inform thousands of attendees who were now deserted on the island in unsafe conditions.
The suit reads “While the Plaintiff is aware that Defendants have made overtures regarding refunds, Class Members’ damages in being lured to a deserted island and left to fend for themselves–a situation tantamount to false imprisonment–exceed the face value of their packages by many orders of magnitude.”
In addition to the more serious allegations, the lawsuit also attack claims that the festival was on a private island (there is a Sandals resort down the road) and that the island was never actually owned by Pablo Escobar, which was touted in Fyre’s promotional material featuring celebrities Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski.
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