Rapper Roland "Troy Ave" Collins has filed a lawsuit against New York's Irving Plaza and its owner Live Nation following a May 25th shooting that took place at the venue during a T.I. concert. The rapper is seeking unspecified damages as well as legal fees.
Collins was charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the incident, which ended in the shooting death of his friend and bodyguard, Ronald "Edgar" McPhatter. The rapper filed the suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court Monday, citing "negligence" on behalf of Irving Plaza.
"This morning, we have filed a lawsuit against Irving Plaza and Live Nation on behalf of Troy Ave for the lack of security they provided the night of the incident," Troy Ave's attorney Scott Leemon confirmed to Rolling Stone. "Troy did not bring the gun into the venue and if the security had done their job, none of the injuries, including Troy getting shot, would have occurred. The venue had a duty to protect Troy, as an invited performer, and they failed him miserably."
In the lawsuit, Collins claims that Irving Plaza security failed to execute proper pat-downs at their VIP entrance, which allowed an unnamed person to bring the firearm backstage. The lawsuit claims that the gun used to shoot Ave twice as well as kill McPhatter was able to slip into the venue thanks to lax security. The rapper was at Irving Plaza to serve as a guest during T.I.'s headlining set.
"The subject incident was wholly preventable and would not have occurred but for the clear negligence and carelessness of the defendents in their promotion, direction, production, supervision and control of the subject hip-hop-/rap concert and security for the same," the lawsuit states. The suit further accuses the venue of "breach[ing] the duty of care which they owed to plaintiff in failing to provide adequate security for the subject concert."
A spokesperson for Irving Plaza declined to comment to Rolling Stone, noting that the venue does not respond to current "matters of litigation." A representative for T.I. did not respond to a request for comment.
"As a result of the incident, the plaintiff, a 30-year-old promising performer with his entire career ahead of him, has been left with disabling injuries which will forever affect his life, his career and his pursuits," the lawsuit claims.
Collins was arrested one day after the shooting after surveillance video emerged of him firing the gun, though he avoided murder charges in McPhatter's death. Since the incident, Ave has maintained that the gun used did not belong to him or any members of his entourage. Since pleading not guilty to charges stemming from the shooting, Ave has been out on $500,000 bail.
Roland "Troy Ave" Collins' lawsuit against Irving Plaza and Live Nation Worldwide, Inc.