Music

Radiohead Issue Statement on “Negligence” Found in Deadly 2012 Stage Collapse

Radiohead have released a statement about Domenic Cugliari, the engineer who was responsible for the design of the stage that collapsed at Toronto’s Downsview Park in June 2012, killing drum technician Scott Johnson. According to the band, the Discipline Committee of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) held a hearing with Cugliari, where he acknowledged a “catalog of errors and the negligence on his part that led to the stage collapse and Scott’s death.” Find the statement below.

Pitchfork has reached out to the PEO for comment and more information.

Scott Johnson’s father, Ken Johnson, an expert in the scaffolding industry, told Pitchfork that he sat and listened to the six-hour hearing. “No one wanted this to happen, but it could have been avoided,” he said in an email on behalf of himself and Scott’s mother, Sue Johnson. “It is very difficult to control feelings after eight years of misery, and, trust me, time is not a healer. I look professionally and hope that this will not happen again, but no one has yet come forward with new procedures to my knowledge.” He added that Scott was their “only child, and such a great man.”

In 2013, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour brought charges against Live Nation, scaffolding company Optex Staging and Services, and Domenic Cugliari under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. An Ontario court judge stayed the charges against Live Nation, Optex, and Cugliari in 2017.

In March 2019, the chief coroner of Ontario began an inquest into what caused Scott Johnson’s death. The inquest ended the next month with a set of non-binding recommendations for the best practices for the live performance industry. Radiohead called the recommendations “sound and practical.” Nicola Mundy, the coroner of Doncaster, England, has since said that Johnson’s death was due to “inadequate technical advice” and “wholly inadequate construction techniques.”

Radiohead dedicated their latest album, 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, to Scott Johnson’s memory.

Find “Waiting on Justice for the Radiohead Stage Collapse That Killed Scott Johnson” on the Pitch.

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