Osaka court rules in favor of Avex in lightning-strike death at Exile concert

Two women were struck and killed by lightning before a concert by Exhile in Osaka in 2012
Two women were struck and killed by lightning before a concert by Exhile in Osaka in 2012

OSAKA (TR) – The Osaka District Court on Monday ruled in favor of a music company in a suit seeking compensation for the death of a woman due to a lightning strike prior to a concert by boy band Exile in Osaka four years ago, reports NHK (May 16).

Presiding judge Sachiya Hasebe ruled that a warning issued by promoter Avex Live Creative, an affiliate of conglomerate Avex Group, to the audience about the danger of lighting was sufficient in spite of the lack of an exact prediction for a strike.

“Avoiding a lightning strike is to be done at one’s own risk,” Hasebe said, “and it was not the responsibility of the company to protect the woman.”

The father of Makiko Iwanaga, a 22-year-old employee from Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, had sought 80 million yen in compensation. The plaintiff argued that property measures were not taken to ensure the safety of members of the audience.

An Osaka-based promotion company was also a defendant in the suit.

On August 18, 2012, lighting struck and killed Iwanaga and a female acquaintance, who was also 22 years of age, as they stood near a tree prior to the start of a concert by pop group Exile at Nagai Park, which is located in Higashisumiyoshi Ward.

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