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Jury Orders Sony to Pay $160M for Underground Atlanta Mass Shooting

Jury Orders Sony to Pay $160M for Underground Atlanta Mass Shooting

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ATLANTA (CelebrityAccess) – In November 2017, a gunman entered a rap concert in downtown Atlanta armed with a gun and fired into the crowd. Four patrons were shot, and two ultimately succumbed to their injuries. In light of the fatalities, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the venue, Sony Music, and Live Nation.

On Thursday (December 15), a jury in Dekalb County finally issued a verdict and awarded the families $160M, $80M for each family. Sony Music Holdings, Inc. will ante up the payment for its failure to protect patrons at the rap concert held at Underground Atlanta over five years ago.

Beasley Allen Law Firm issued a press release announcing the verdict and subsequent judgment amount. Trial attorney Parker Miller worked with co-counsel Darren Summerville of The Summerville Firm during litigation. Miller said, “This verdict represents an incredible day of justice for our clients and for the safety of all people that attend concerts across America.”

Giovan Diaz (22), and Ewell Yona (21), two of the four shot during the incident died later from their wounds. The shooter in this case was identified as Jonathan Bautista (27).

Atlanta Police officer Lisa Bender said at the time that two of the four gunshot victims climbed onto the stage during a break between acts, leading to an argument and the gunman pulling out a pistol.

According to witnesses who testified at trial, Diaz and Ynoa both suffered greatly before eventually dying. “This was a mass shooting in a crowded concert. There were multiple deaths, and Gio and Wells suffered significantly before losing their fight for life, as eyewitnesses outlined,” Miller said.

“The trial was incredibly emotional because of what these families, and the world, lost. One of these men had been told he would be a father just a few hours before the shooting happened. Combine that with the fact the concert endangered everyone, and this defendant refused to participate in the legal process, and you get the type of verdict we saw here.”

The alleged lack of security was the primary point of questioning in trial, which consisted of two previously consolidated cases against Sony. The Masquerade music venue, which had recently relocated to Underground Atlanta, Live Nation and RCA Records, owned by Sony Music, were all sued after the shooting.

Tiffany Simmons, managing partner of Simmons Law, was originally retained by the plaintiffs in litigation.

“There is no excuse for how poorly secured this production was,” Simmons said. “These men had over a hundred years of life expectancy left between them. We are humbled by the jury’s decision, and we hope this sends a message that this type of conduct will not be tolerated.”

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