The parents of a 24-year-old man who died from a drug overdose at the Electric Daisy Carnival filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the rave’s promoters. The parents claimed that the slow medical response to their son’s emergency directly caused his death.
Nicholas Austin Tom, a UC Irvine graduate who resided in San Francisco, died due to intoxication from Ecstasy at the widely known rave in exactly two years ago, on June 21, 2015. The event was held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The parents, Terry and Gayline Tom, argued that the rave’s promoters were guilty of negligence in running the festival by training the staff poorly and having inadequate medical resources for the tens of thousands of attendees.
Raves in general are quite infamous for their high rate of injury and medical emergencies, but EDC in particular is quite notorious. During that year’s festival, over 1400 medical calls were requested, and over two dozen people had to be brought to the hospital.
On the final day of the 3-day festival, Nicholas Austin Tom had ingested some MDMA. About 1:30 A.M., he had a seizure and began foaming at the mouth. Apparently, other attendees saw Tom and tried to carry him through the audience and yelled for help, but the particularly loud music and packed crowd delayed them from delivering him more quickly.
Finding a medical tent took more than 30 minutes, and when Tom did arrive, apparently the volunteer staffers had no medical experience and the actual medics had their hands full with other emergencies. All the while, Tom laid unconscious and seizing, until he died on the medical tent floor half an hour later.
Tom’s parents are suing for wrongful death and negligence on the part of Insomniac Holdings and Live Nation Entertainment.
An Insomniac Holdings spokeswoman expressed condolences to the family, saying that “Participating in illicit drug behavior can have tragic consequences and we hold a strict zero tolerance policy for illegal activity while continually educating our fans on the dangers of drug use.”
Apparently, at the time of his death, Tom was at least the fifth attendee of the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas to die from drugs or alcohol since the festival relocated from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2011.
Since, several others have passed away at the festival, either due to drugs or the extreme heat. Last year’s festival saw 20-year-old woman Kenani Kaimuloa pass away due to stroke, exhaustion and dehydration, and 34-year-old Michael Adam Morse also passed away at this year’s EDC.
Between 2006 and 2016, there have been at least 29 drug-related deaths nationwide among those who attended raves organized by L.A.-area companies.