HARD Summer 2011. Photo via Flickr user Aaron Weinstein
Parents whose children died while attending annual Southern California music festival HARD Summer in 2014 and 2015 are suing the promoter’s owner, Live Nation, in addition to other parties, citing negligence and wrongful death.
NBC Los Angeles reports that a lawsuit was filed last month on the behalf of Michael and Pamela Dix, whose daughter Katie died due to “multiple drug intoxication” while attending HARD Summer at the Pomona Fairgrounds in August 2015. According to the report, Katie was found unresponsive on the grounds after ingesting what she believed to be pure ecstasy, and none of the four medical tents she was taken to were properly trained to handle such situations. She was then taken to Pomona Valley Medical Center, where she died.
The Dixes, who also name Los Angeles County, the LA County Fair Association, the city of Pomona, and the event’s security, Staff Pro, in the suit, claim that the defendants “turned a blind eye” to the use of drugs such as MDMA at these events, and that Katie could have been saved had the festival provided proper and timely treatment.
Read More: How Do We Stop Drug Deaths at Festivals?
Also suing Live Nation in a separate claim is Julie Tran, whose daughter Emily died after attending HARD Summer at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in August 2014. According to The LA Times, coroner’s officials cited “acute intoxication of ecstasy” as the cause of death.
According to The Orange County Register, Tran’s suit, which also names HARD and Staff Pro as defendants, echoes the Dixes’ sentiments, claiming the promoters purposefully ignored the risks of drug use “in order to capitalize on teenagers and young adults who believed they were attending a safe party environment…” Similarly, she blames the lack of trained medical personnel, citing their failure to “adequately transport” Emily to the first-aid center, and then to a hospital.
The lawsuits bookended yet another tragedy-filled HARD Summer, which took place this past weekend at a new location, the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Three attendees died at the event, though at this moment, their causes of death are unknown pending autopsy reports.