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It hasn’t yet been a week since the Fyre Festival went down in flames, but the event has already sparked multiple class action lawsuits.
The destination music festival set in the Bahamas was sold as a once-in-a-lifetime experience complete with top notch food, accommodations and — of course — famous faces. When guests began arriving, though, stories of disaster relief tents, sad-looking cheese sandwiches and travel horrors quickly went viral.
Personal injury attorney John Girardi is representing Chelsea Chinery, Shannon McAuliffe and Desiree Flores in a breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud suit against Ja Rule, Billy McFarland and Fyre Media. Hollywood heavy hitter Mark Geragos earlier this week also filed a $100 million fraud lawsuit against Fyre Festival organizers.
The most recent suit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, says defendants tricked people into attending the event by paying more than 400 social media influencers and celebrities to promote it.
Not only did the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski make the event seem like it would be dripping with the social elite — the social media campaign also flouted FTC regulations, according to the complaint.
“Social media ‘influencers’ made no attempt to disclose to consumers that they were being compensated for promoting the Fyre Festival,” writes Girardi.
Guests were promised more than 30 musical acts, including Migos, Major Lazer and Blink-182, and promotional materials showed “stunning beach side villas, yachts with models draped over the top” and more. What they found when they arrived was “horrific.”
“As Plaintiffs began to grasp the dire nature of the situation, upon witnessing the complete lack of infrastructure necessary to host such an event, a panic enveloped the crowd,” writes Girardi. “Plaintiffs were stuck on the island, with no way off.”
Girardi says the defendants knew at least a month before the event that they wouldn’t be able to pull off what they had promised, yet offered no warning and made no attempt to mitigate the damages.
The proposed class is defined as persons who purchased tickets or travel packages to and/or attended Fyre Festival. Then the class is separated into three categories of harm: those who bought tickets or packages but did not attend after being made aware of the conditions; those who bought tickets and tried to go to the festival but didn’t make it to Exuma because flights were canceled; and those who made it to the festival and were confined on the island for any amount of time.
The complaint seeks an injunction to bar defendants from similar conduct, plus restitution, punitive damages and disgorgement of any profits.
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