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Palladium settles lawsuit over fall from balcony

LOS ANGELES — A settlement was reached Sept. 12 in a lawsuit against the Hollywood Palladium and Live Nation Worldwide Inc. stemming from severe injuries the brother of Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin suffered during a 2013 fall from a balcony, but it was the unusual note on which the jury was discharged that might have upstaged the resolution itself.

At the request of Debra Chang, the attorney for plaintiffs Ilan and Aaron Rubin and the latter’s 32-year-old wife, Anya, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William MacLaughlin allowed her to play a video of the brothers in studio while Ilan sang the Beatles’ 1965 hit “In My Life.”

In a more serious mood, Chang had told jurors hearing opening statements that the 36 1/2-inch railing Aaron Rubin, then 33, tumbled over on Nov. 7, 2013, was not sufficiently high to prevent most men from falling over it in certain conditions.

Aaron Rubin, who is about 6-feet tall and weighs about 260 pounds, fell about 14 feet to the floor below during a frenzied encore performance of “Dammit” by Blink 182, suffering a brain injury that has limited his ability to get work in the music field, Chang said.

The lawyers and the judge met in chambers for a short time before coming out and announcing the settlement on what was to be the second day of trial. No terms were divulged. The judge then brought the jury into the courtroom to inform them their service was done.

The jurors clapped after watching the high-definition footage of the Rubin brothers. MacLaughlin, who is in his 80s, said what they just saw was something even he hadn’t experienced in a legal career spanning six decades.

“I think it’s a first for me as well,” said MacLaughlin, who added that he has no intention of stepping down soon.

MacLaughlin jokingly invited defense attorney Michael Schonbuch to provide some “equal time” personal entertainment of his own, but the lawyer declined, saying “I have no skills.”

However, Schonbuch told jurors that although Ilan Rubin was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against his clients, the musician and the Nine Inch Nails will perform there in December. The group is scheduled to do six shows.

Schonbuch also said Ilan Rubin was allowed to enter the Palladium’s VIP section to watch a 2017 performance of the Pixies.

The Rubin brothers left shortly before the jury entered, but before they did so Schonbuch huddled with them for a few moments. He told jurors he apologized to the siblings for what happened that night.

“No one wants anybody to get hurt,” Schonbuch said.

Noting that Ilan Rubin was headed for the airport after leaving the courtroom, the judge said, “Get going. Good luck in your career.”

Schonbuch, on behalf of defendants Live Nation Worldwide Inc. and CH Palladium LLC, told jurors that Aaron Rubin fell and was injured due to his own reckless behavior. Schonbuch alleged that Chang, in her opening statement, changed the version of events about how her client fell because the first one that had been used for years made no sense.

Schonbuch said three young women who attended the concert saw Rubin run down a set of stairs, bump into them and then appear to jump over the railing.

CH Palladium owns the Palladium and Live Nation is a tenant.

According to Chang, Ilan Rubin, now 30, had performed with Nine Inch Nails on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” earlier that day and went with his brother to see Blink 182 afterward. Aaron Rubin had a working relationship with Blink 182 singer Tom DeLonge, who helped found the band and has since left the group, according to Chang.

Chang said the crowd grew to a frenzy when Blink 182 began performing “Dammit” and within 20 seconds, Aaron Rubin got up and walked toward the railing, tumbling over it and falling on his face below. She said that if the railing was about 42 inches high, it would likely have prevented him from falling over while also making it safer for most men more than 5-feet-6 inches tall.

Ilan Rubin alleged negligent infliction of emotional distress and Anya Rubin, now 32, claimed loss of consortium.



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