A woman who sued DJ Skrillex, alleging she was hurt -- and days later suffered a stroke -- after the DJ, record producer and musician leapt on top of her from a downtown Los Angeles stage in 2012 was awarded $3.8 million by a jury.
The Los Angeles Superior Court panel deliberated for about two days before finding in favor of 31-year-old Jennifer Fraissl on Tuesday.
The jury awarded a total of $4.5 million, but $675,000 was deducted from that amount because Fraissl's negligence was apportioned at 15 percent.
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Skrillex and his company, Lost Boys Touring Inc., will have to collectively pay $3.4 million of the verdict, while the remainder, about $450,000, was assessed against Belasco Entertainment Theater Inc.
One of Fraissl's attorneys, Seth Rosenberg, said his client began crying after hearing the jury had found in her favor. He said the panel reached a proper verdict.
"Skrillex, Lost Boys Touring and the venue ran from responsibility from the start, but it caught up with them," Rosenberg said.
Skrillex issued a statement Wednesday regarding the verdict.
"There is nothing more important to me than my fans and their safety at my shows," he said. "I want them to have fun and enjoy the music. While I'm disappointed by the jury's decision, I'm glad this process is over. I look forward to getting back to work and delivering new music to my fans."
Skrillex's lawyer, Barry Thompson, said he and his client respect the jury's decision, but are trying to understand how the panel reached the verdict given the physical evidence and sworn testimony.
"That evidence included video proof that Mr. Moore never made physical contact with Ms. Fraissl and sworn testimony from Ms. Fraissl and an eyewitness that no one in the crowd made contact with her," Thompson said, adding that the video shows Fraissl smiling in the seconds before and after she claims she was struck.
Fraissl has maintained an international travel schedule since claiming she had a stroke, which seems unlikely for someone who suffered the type of mental and physical damages that she and her attorney claimed, Thompson said.
Fraissl testified that she never expected Skrillex to jump into the crowd and that she was not a willing audience participant in the stunt. She said she was dancing to the music when the DJ suddenly jumped and that her expression reflected her demeanor before the leap, when she said she was having a good time.
"I was trying to enjoy the show," Fraissl said. "How was I to know a significant event was about to happen to me?"
Fraissl says she suffered a stroke 16 days after the Feb. 11, 2012, show at the Belasco Theater. Fraissl, of Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County, sued Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny John Moore, and the other defendants in February 2014. She told the jury that she was standing near the front of the crowd when Skrillex beckoned fans forward, making it hard for her to leave or protect herself. She said Skrillex unexpectedly jumped from his table several feet above the stage and landed on the back of her head.
In their court papers, attorneys for Skrillex and Lost Boys state that Fraissl was aware Skrillex, now 30, jumped from the stage during a Las Vegas show she attended and that she assumed the risk she could be injured when the DJ did the same thing at the Belasco.
Defense attorney Barry Thompson used video footage of his client's leap to pinpoint for the jury how close Fraissl was to the stage and how she was grinning after he jumped into the crowd. But Fraissl said she was happy and having fun before the jump and that her expression should not be construed as her having approved it.
"The whole thing seemed to happen in seconds to me," she said.
Fraissl said she had her hands up when Skrillex jumped, but cannot recall whether it was for self-protection or because she was dancing to the music moments earlier. But she said she had nowhere to go.
"He was coming straight for me," Fraissl said.