By Hayden Wright
In 2012, a Radiohead stage collapsed and killed drum technician Scott Johnson. Authorities in Ontario brought charges against Live Nation, scaffolding company Optex Staging and Services and engineer Domenic Cugliari for alleged health and safety violations. Five years later, a judge has decided to stay the pending charges because bringing those parties to trial had taken too long—violating defendants’ rights to a speedy trial. The staying of the case means the charges are not currently moving forward.
“This case was a complex case that required more time than other cases in the system,” Judge Ann Nelson ruled, according to CBC news. “After allowing for all of the exceptional circumstances that were in play, this case still will have taken too long to complete.”
Canadian artist Caribou tweeted: “(As someone who was standing behind this stage when it collapsed and would have been on it an hour later…) This is complete bulls—.”
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke seemed to concur with Caribou’s perspective, retweeting his message and adding “words utterly fail me…”
In addition to Johnson’s fatality, three others were injured on June 16, 2012 when a piece of Radiohead’s Toronto stage fell to the ground. The defendants were charged with 13 violations altogether.
Judge Nelson conceded that Johnson’s loved ones would be dissatisfied with the proceedings’ conclusion: “No doubt, this decision will be incomprehensible to Mr. Johnson’s family, who can justifiably complain that justice has not been done.”