Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Over Coliseum Rave Death

Venue promoters and Coliseum officials to pay $190,000 over death of Sasha Rodriguez

The family of a 15-year-old girl who died of an Ecstasy overdose after a rave at the Coliseum in 2010 has settled in court for $190,000, the lawyer for the family said on Saturday.

Sasha Rodriguez died after the Electric Daisy Carnival dance party at LA’s historic sports venue in a high-profile case that led to the arrests of two former Coliseum executives and a grand jury indictment investigating public corruption.

Rodriguez was underage; the party was intended for those 16 and older.

Some $175,00 will be paid to her family on behalf of the rave concert promoter, Insomniac Inc., and the Coliseum Commission. Coliseum manager Todd DeStefano will pay $15,000, said Steven D. Archer, a lawyer for Sasha’s parents.

A lawyer for Insomniac, Gary Jay Kaufman, told the Los Angeles Times that Rodriguez’s death was not the promoter's fault.

"Insomniac was sued for who we were, not what we did," he told The Times in a statement. "If Sasha Rodriguez had snuck into the Hollywood Bowl during a Barry Manilow concert and overdosed on some drug, there never would have been a lawsuit.

"Insomniac did not admit any wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement because they did not in fact do anything wrong."

In a case unrelated to Sasha’s death, prosecutors said in March that six people, including three former top managers for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, were indicted on conspiracy, embezzlement and bribery charges for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from the stadium.

A Los Angeles County grand jury indicted DeStefano, Coliseum general manager Patrick Lynch, former technical manager Leopold Caudillo Jr., music and event promoters Pasquale Rotella and Reza Gerami, and janitorial contractor Antonio Estrada.

The indictment alleged that Lynch, 55, and DeStefano, 39, participated in a variety of schemes beginning in 2006 that siphoned money from the city- and county-owned stadium into their own pockets, prosecutors said.

DeStefano, who quit in January 2011, allegedly received more than $1.8 million from Insomniac, the company that produced the Electric Daisy Carnival, and Go Ventures, which also sponsored Coliseum events, the District Attorney said.

"The only thing $190,000 settles is which side had better lawyers,” LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sits on the panel, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this settlement compounds the tragic death of Sasha Rodriguez."

The Coliseum briefly imposed a moratorium on rave events at the venue following Rodriguez's death.

A lawyer for DeStefano declined to comment.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Contact Us