Ja Rule and Grant Margolin are free from a class action alleging they falsely promoted the ill-fated Fyre Festival as a luxury music event on a private island in the Bahamas, a federal court ruled July 10.
The plaintiffs didn’t allege plausible fraud claims against festival chief marketing officer Margolin or co-founder Ja Rule, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, Judge P. Kevin Castel wrote for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The plaintiffs allege Ja Rule and Margolin made false representations on social media about the festival’s accommodations, luxury offerings, band performances, amenities, cuisine, and site description. The organizers knew for months that the festival wouldn’t live up to their promises, they say.
But the complaint doesn’t allege specifically when the statements were made or what specific promises they contained that consumers relied on, the court said.
“The subjective qualifiers of ‘FOMO-inducing’ and ‘Coachella x 1000' are too exaggerated, blustering, and boasting for a reasonable consumer to rely on,” the court said, citing tweets by Ja Rule.
The complaint also doesn’t mention any statements were made specifically by Margolin, the court said.
“Broad assertions of reliance on multiple misstatements covering at least a four-month period of time are insufficient,” the court said.
The suit will proceed against Fyre Media and co-founder Billy McFarland.
Levi & Korsinsky LLP, Geragos and Geragos APC, and Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A. represented the consumers.
Kirsch & Niehaus PLLC and Ryan Hayden Smith in Raleigh, N.C., represented Ja Rule. Margolin represented himself.
The case is In re Fyre Festival Litig., 2019 BL 254672, S.D.N.Y., No. 17-CV-3296, 7/10/19.
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(Updated to name Mr. Atkin's attorneys. )