The parents of a 22-year-old college student are suing Live Nation after their daughter died of an apparent drug overdose at the 2016 HARD Fest at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The parents filed the lawsuit on July 31, exactly one-year after Roxanne Ngo, a fourth-year student at UC Riverside, passed away at the massive EDM festival. Her father Hai Ngo filed the suit in San Bernardino Superior Court, alleging negligence and wrongful death charges — the victim is believed to have died from an overdose of MDMA, the drug commonly referred to as Molly or Ecstacy.
The family’s attorney Lee Sherman argues that Live Nation should have been better prepared for overdose-related injuries, especially as temperatures climbed to 90 degrees that day. The lawsuit accuses Live Nation of failing to have an adequate police and security presence at the event and argues that the event’s four medical tents were insufficient for the 147,000 people in attendance.
Live Nation “oversold the event and created an atmosphere that was over attended, overcrowded and dangerous,” the lawsuit alleges, arguing organizers “put profits ahead of the safety of the HARD fest attendees including Roxanne Ngo.”
The lawsuit also alleges Live Nation failed to provide enough drinking water for the event. A spokesperson for Live Nation told Billboard the company does not comment on ongoing lawsuits.
Three people died at HARD in 2016, all from drug-related overdoses, bringing the total number of people who died at the festival since 2013 to six. This year the event was moved to Glen Helen Ampitheater in Devore, California, and San Bernandino County’s Board of Supervisors worked with Live Nation to create a rave task force to minimize injuries. At this year’s festival, 107 were arrested and 19 were hospitalized, but no one died.
HARD Fest was created by Gary Richards, who sold his company to Live Nation in 2012. Last week, Billboard reported that Richards was leaving Live Nation to accept a position with LiveStyle, the newly named company that emerged out of the SFX bankruptcy.