the law

Drakeo the Ruler’s Son Has Filed a Wrongful-Death Lawsuit Against Live Nation

Drakeo the Ruler, whose legal name is Darrell Wayne Caldwell. Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Drakeo the Ruler’s son has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Live Nation, alleging that the lack of safety measures at the company’s Once Upon a Time in L.A. music festival led to the fatal stabbing of the Los Angeles rapper in December. The $60 million lawsuit was filed on behalf of Drakeo’s 5-year-old son, Caiden Caldwell, through Caiden’s mother, Tianna Purtue.

In addition to Live Nation, the festival’s other co-promoters — Bobby Dee Presents, C3 Presents, and Jeff Shuman — and the Los Angeles Football Club, which owns the stadium used as the event venue, were named as defendants. The lawsuit claims that the defendants “were completely knowledgeable of the potential dangers posed to both their guests and the performers they hired based on numerous past incidents of violence and death at their hip hop events.” It specifically mentions that the tragedy at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, which was also organized by Live Nation, took place just one month before Drakeo’s death.

According to the lawsuit, Drakeo (born Darrell Wayne Caldwell) was confronted backstage by more than 100 “deadly gang members who inexplicably gained access to a restricted area of the venue engaging in an unrelenting and unprevented attack for over 10 minutes.” Per the complaint, the rapper had a single personal-security guard, who was not allowed to carry a weapon inside the festival grounds. The lawsuit claims the defendants were negligent in their failure to provide an adequate security plan that could have prevented the “completely preventable, yet recklessly permitted act [of] violence.” Among other safety measures, Caiden’s lawyers argue that there should have been more personal security provided for Drakeo, thorough searches of performers and guests, and a list of people with backstage access.

The lawsuit states that it was “widely known to the public” that some members of the Bloods gang rejected Drakeo’s acquittal for the murder of one of its members and sought to exact “street justice.” It argues that Drakeo’s feud with rapper and fellow festival performer YG also should have alerted promoters to a safety risk (though it’s noted that “there is no evidence to indicate that YG had anything to do with the events” that led to Drakeo’s killing).

Drakeo’s son is suing for at least $25 million for noneconomic damages for life without his father, at least $25 million in economic damages for loss of earnings and financial support, and at least $10 million for Drakeo’s suffering prior to his death.

Drakeo the Ruler’s Son Sues Live Nation for Wrongful Death