Live Nation Claims 'No Liability' In Drakeo The Ruler Stabbing Death - Rolling Stone
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Live Nation Claims ‘No Liability’ in Drakeo The Ruler Stabbing Death, Wants Lawsuit Dismissed

Live Nation argues it should be off the hook because Drakeo never asked for additional security or informed promoters he “faced threats and constant hostility from gang members”

SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Drakeo the Ruler performs during Rolling Loud at NOS Events Center on December 12, 2021 in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Timothy Norris/WireImage)SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 12: Drakeo the Ruler performs during Rolling Loud at NOS Events Center on December 12, 2021 in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Timothy Norris/WireImage)

Drakeo the Ruler performs at Rolling Loud Los Angeles in 2021.


Live Nation is raising the curtain on how it plans to fight a trio of lawsuits stemming from the backstage stabbing death of rapper Drakeo The Ruler at the Once Upon A Time in L.A. festival in downtown Los Angeles last December. The three lawsuits were filed separately by Drakeo’s son, mother and brother.

In a filing made public Tuesday, Live Nation asked a Los Angeles judge to dismiss the negligence and premises liability lawsuit brought by Drakeo’s brother Devante Caldwell and several members of the brothers’ Stinc Team rap collective who were with the rapper at the time of the deadly attack. The demurrer, obtained by Rolling Stone, argues the complaint fails to state sufficient grounds to proceed.

According to Live Nation, it can’t be held responsible for the “violent mob” of 50 to 100 people who “produced knives and stabbed Drakeo” because state law dictates the horrifying ambush was “unforeseeable” considering no “prior similar incidents” at the venue had been reported. In other words, the concert promoter claims it owed no “duty” to Drakeo because it had no reason to suspect the “third-party criminal conduct” that ended the rising rapper’s life at age 28 was a risk.

Live Nation also argues that it should be let off the hook because no one associated with Drakeo “asked for additional security” or informed promoters that the rapper “faced threats and constant hostility from gang members.”

Drakeo, born Darrell Caldwell, was stabbed in the neck by an unidentified assailant shortly before he was due to take the stage on Dec. 18, 2021, authorities previously said. No arrests have been announced in the case.

At a morning hearing Tuesday, a lawyer representing Live Nation and fellow promoter C3 Presents said the challenge to Devante Caldwell’s complaint would be followed by a similar demurrer filed Thursday against the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Drakeo’s mom, Darrylene Corniel. The lawyer, Celeena B. Pompeo, said she was waiting for an amended wrongful death complaint filed on behalf of Drakeo’s only child, Caiden Caldwell, before likely filing a motion to consolidate the three cases to fight them together.

The judge on the case is not expected to rule on the demurrer for months. On Tuesday, the judge said she planned to set a trial date for the likely consolidated case at a follow-up hearing on Sept. 20.

The California Highway Patrol is overseeing the homicide investigation because the incident took place on state land. The agency has yet to release any details about possible leads or suspects in the eight-month-old case.

According to his relatives’ lawsuits, Drakeo was targeted by various gang members in Los Angeles because he “refused to actively participate in gang activity,” refused to “choose” a side and was acquitted of charges related to the “false allegation” he was involved in the murder of a member of the Bloods gang.

“Despite being exonerated of having had any involvement whatsoever with the murder of the Bloods gang member, it had been widely known to the public via social media and otherwise that certain members of the Bloods gang had rejected the acquittal and sought to exact ‘street justice’ against Darrell,” Corniel’s lawsuit states. “This was evidenced by heated exchanges between Darrell and alleged members of the Bloods where they were feuding via social media.”

The grieving mom’s lawsuit claims Live Nation, C3 Presents and fellow promoter defendants Bobby Dee Presents and even Snopp Dogg’s LLC “knew or should have known that the location of the music festival in South Central Los Angeles, a haven for gang activity, featuring artists who are either members of or affiliated with gangs, would attract gang members and related gang feuds to the premises.”

The long list of performers at the Once Upon A Time in L.A. festival included Al Green, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and YG.

Drakeo’s career was just beginning to flourish when his life was cut short. Following his acquittal in the murder case that had trapped him behind bars for nearly three years, he released two full-length albums and collaborated with Drake on the 2021 single “Talk to Me.”

In This Article: Drake, drakeo the ruler, Snoop Dogg


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