May 19, 2015
Steve Aoki Sued After Crowdsurfing Incident Breaks Fan’s Neck

Steve Aoki, everyone’s favorite–or least favorite, depending on your stance–cake-throwing, raft-riding DJ, has found himself in a legal battle after injuring a fan during one of his infamous crowdsurfing attempts.

The incident dates back to a May 2012 concert at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. During his performance, Aoki climbed to the top of a 20-foot makeshift stage and jumped into the crowd and onto his signature pool raft. Unfortunately, Brittany Hickman was caught underneath and suffered injuries to her neck and ankle.

“I was trapped underneath the pool raft because they threw it out right where I was standing. My friends told me he landed on top of the pool raft, hit me on top of the head, and I got knocked over,” she told 10News. “They said I was laying on the ground for a moment and I didn’t get up.”

A security guard carried her unconscious body out of the crowd. When she came to, she was confused and didn’t know where she was. The pain would continue to get worse in the following days, and so Hickman went to the hospital for a CAT scan.

“The doctor comes in and he says ‘don’t move.’ The medics come over and start to put a neck brace on me. And I remember thinking what’s going on. And the doctor said you broke your neck,” Hickman said. As a result, she was hospitalized for three days and was unable to work for two months.

Hickman has filed a lawsuit against both Aoki and the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.

When reached for a comment, Aoki’s representatives issued a brief statement to Entertainment Weekly:

“I would never want anyone to get hurt at any of my shows and feel badly that someone has, but at this time I have been advised by my attorneys to not speak about this as it’s going to trial. Thank you for your understanding.”

Peter Doody, Aoki’s attorney, had the following comments:

“Thank you for your inquiry. As you know I am the attorney representing Mr. Aoki. This matter arises out of an incident which occurred at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, three years ago. In addition to Mr. Aoki, Ms. Hickman is also suing Hard Rock. Trial in this matter is scheduled for August 28, 2015 before Judge Pressman of the San Diego Superior Court. Because of the ongoing litigation and the pending trial date it would not be appropriate for us to respond to your inquiry at this time or permit an interview.”

You can view the video footage of the incident, taken from a surveillance camera, down below.

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