A judge issued a tentative ruling Wednesday denying a new trial to DJ Skrillex, who was sued by a fan who alleged she suffered a stroke days after the DJ, record producer and musician leapt on top of her from a downtown Los Angeles stage in 2012.
“Defendant failed to show that stage-diving or crowd contact from stage-diving is an inherent risk of (electronic dance music) concerts that cannot be eliminated without changing the fundamental nature of the activity,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy wrote.
But after hearing arguments, the judge said he was taking the case under submission and would issue a final ruling on Monday or Tuesday.
On Nov. 21, a jury awarded a total of $4.5 million to 32-year-old Jennifer Fraissl, but $675,000 was deducted from that amount because Fraissl’s negligence was apportioned at 15 percent.
If the verdict stands, Skrillex and his company, Lost Boys Touring Inc., will have to collectively pay $3.4 million of the verdict, while the remainder, about $450,000, will be the responsibility of Belasco Entertainment Theater Inc.
Fraissl, of Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County, sued Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny John Moore, and the other defendants in February 2014. She testified she suffered a stroke 16 days after the Feb. 11, 2012, show at the Belasco Theater.
She told the jury that she was standing near the front of the crowd when Skrillex beckoned fans forward, making it hard for her to leave or protect herself. She said Skrillex unexpectedly jumped from his table several feet above the stage and landed on the back of her head.
In their court papers, attorneys for Skrillex and Lost Boys state that Fraissl was aware Skrillex, now 31, jumped from the stage during a Las Vegas show she attended and that she assumed the risk she could be injured when the DJ did the same thing at the Belasco.
Defense attorney Barry Thompson used video footage of his client’s leap to pinpoint for the jury how close Fraissl was to the stage and how she was grinning after he jumped into the crowd. But Fraissl said she was happy and having fun before the jump and that her expression should not be construed as her having approved it.
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