The California Court of Appeal has decided that Jeezy and Live Nation are not at fault for the killing of Eric Johnson, Jr., a Bay Area event promoter who was fatally shot during the “Under the Influence of Music Tour” in 2014.
Variety obtained a copy of the ruling, which was issued on Tuesday (Jan. 24). The documents state that Live Nation had enough evidence to prove that the shooting in the backstage area of the San Francisco venue “was not reasonably foreseeable,” meaning “they had no duty to prevent the third-party criminal attack on [Johnson].”
Following Johnson’s death, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing Live Nation of being legally negligent, claiming that the entertainment company didn’t provide enough precautions to prevent the shooting. The court ultimately ruled the killing was not the kind of incident that Live Nation is legally required to provide protective measures for, despite the family’s suggestion.
“A violent attack by and between artists and their guests in the backstage area of a performance is not a foreseeable occurrence against which Live Nation should have provided preventative measures of the nature plaintiffs suggest,” the decision stated. “The reports did not… indicate that any of the artists or their entourages engaged in or posed any danger of violence during the tour. The head of security also indicated that in her more than 10 years at the amphitheater, there had not been any violent incidents backstage.”
The decision also noted that the identity of the shooter, and how and when the suspect entered the backstage area remains unknown. Initially, the Johnson family accused Jeezy, whose real name is Jay Wayne Jenkins, of being the pulling the trigger, however, they later dropped the claims and no murder charges were filed.
Live Nation faces another wrongful death lawsuit for the stabbing of Drakeo the Ruler at the 2021 Once Upon a Time music festival in Los Angeles. Drakeo the Ruler’s brother filed the lawsuit against the entertainment company in 2022, claiming a lack of “proper safety measures” caused the 28-year-old rapper to be murdered at the event on Dec. 18 before his performance.