Family Suing Live Nation Over Teen’s Fatal Drug Overdose Moves to End Case

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Hard Summer Music Festival 2015

The family of a 19-year-old woman who died after attending a 2015 electronic music festival has moved to end its lawsuit against Live Nation following settlement negotiations. On June 11, the family of Katie Dix filed a request for dismissal in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to court documents obtained by Pitchfork. A lawyer for the family declined to comment to Pitchfork, while representatives of Live Nation did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Several California law school professors told Pitchfork the filing probably means the case has been settled. Terms of any such deal are unclear and likely would be confidential.

“After looking at the documents, I’m confident that the case settled,” Andrew Bradt, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in an email. “And we may learn nothing more if the settlement included [a non-disclosure agreement].”

Dix was a student at California State University Channel Islands when she attended the Hard Summer Music Festival on August 1, 2015. Live Nation organized the event, held at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, California. A medical examiner found that Dix died of multiple drug intoxication. Dix’s parents, Mark and Pamela Dix, initially filed their wrongful death lawsuit in July 2016. Almost two years later, in March 2018, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge granted Live Nation’s motion for summary judgment. But last October, a three-judge state appeals court panel reversed the decision, ruling that Live Nation must face the lawsuit and awarding the Dixes their costs for the appeal.

Subsequent rulings have also gone the family’s way. In February, according to court documents, the California Supreme Court denied Live Nation’s petition for review of the case. At the same time, the state’s high court denied Live Nation’s request for an order directing “depublication” of the appeals court opinion, which would have meant that the opinion could not be cited as precedent in future proceedings.

Rather than head to trial, the Dixes and Live Nation were working toward a settlement. A minute order dated April 8 in Los Angeles Superior Court, based on a status conference before Judge Gloria White-Brown, reads, “Counsel inform the court that settlement negotiations are ongoing.”

The Dixes filed their June 11 request for dismissal “with prejudice,” which means they would be unable to refile the same claim. “Based on the recent filing, it appears that the parties have reached a consensual settlement,” said Nora Freeman Engstrom, co-director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, in an email to Pitchfork. “Settlements are common—and are, indeed, the most common outcome once civil cases are filed.”

Read “Why Did Live Nation’s Stock Price Hit an All-Time High Without Live Music?” over on the Pitch.

 

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