A lawsuit filed on behalf of two men who were shot at a Meek Mill Concert at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford in December alleges that the show’s organizers and promoters did not do enough to ensure concert-goers' safety at a show with a performer known for lyrics with violence imagery and whose shows had been the scene of violence in the past.
Ward and 20-year-old Jaquan Graves of New Haven were killed in the shooting. Mitchell is still recovering from his injuries, according to his attorney.
The Faxon Law Group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ward and Mitchell. Their attorneys argue that Meek Mill, whose real name Is Robert Rihmeek Williams, is known for public feuds and an affinity for gun violence, and that the defendants, which include the Oakdale, Live Nation and Roc Nation, LLC, should have taken extra security measures to protect those attending the show.
The civil summons also lists Michael J. Willcox, also known as Big Mike the Ruler, who works as a concert promoter, The Big Boy Game, LLC, the company where Willcox is a managing member, and Meek Mill as defendants.
The lawsuit argues that the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect concert-goers, and failed to hire adequate security staff or take reasonable measures to protect attendees even when disruptive behavior began. The suit claims that the Oakdale “allowed thugs to remain on the defendants premises, after exhibiting disorderly, disruptive, argumentative, angry and/or agitated behavior toward patrons.”
The lawsuit also states that concert organizers should have been prepared for possible violence based off some of Meek Mill’s lyrics and past incidents at Meek Mill concerts in Wilmington, Delaware and one in Danbury.
"The venue security was grossly understaffed and ill-equipped to deal with the hazardous environment presented by any Meek Mill concert," wrote attorney Joel Faxon in a statement. "A strong police presence was required. After this incident The Oakdale beefed up the security substantially, but it was too late for Mr. Ward and Mr. Mitchell. They were innocent concert-goers who ended up in a war zone.”
The lawsuit charges the defendants with misconduct and negligence.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to the Oakdale Theatre and Live Nation for comment.