50 Cent (born Curtis Jackson) will be sued, most likely in a Maryland Civil Court, for allegedly punching concert attendee and fan Donnetta Derr in the chest during a performance last week. The suit has yet to be filed, but Derr has hired Baltimore-based attorney Warren A. Brown who announced the forthcoming suit to the media.
Rapper, actor and business mogul 50 Cent (41), is no stranger to the courtroom. As a youth, 50 was convicted of selling drugs to an undercover officer. Ultimately, 50 avoided jail by serving 6 months in a teen Bootcamp, which the state utilized in order to reform young offenders. The rest of 50’s story is well-documented. The Queens native made enemies in the streets and famously survived being shot 9 times. Eventually, he found redemption in the form of Hip Hop music. The MC found fortune and fame by channeling his talent into aggression against all of his enemies, over pulsating tracks produced by Dr. Dre. 50’s newfound fortune and purposely hostile persona found him frequently in front of a Civil judge for various reasons. No matter what, 50 never backed down from the belligerent persona that made him rich. Today, 50 faces another lawsuit in which his belligerent character has come into question.
50 cent is currently on the Filthy America…It’s Beautiful tour with like-minded Yonkers rappers the Lox. Last week, while the tour stopped in Baltimore, 50 ran through his usual early 00’s chart-topping hits. 50 interacted with the enthusiastic crowd, as he slapped and shook hands from his perch on stage. However, one overly eager fan seemed to yank 50’s arm unusually hard, causing him to fall off the stage. Simultaneously, 50 cocked his muscled arm back and threw a forceful punch toward the individual (later identified as Donnetta Derr) yanking his other arm forward. The punch landed directly in Derr’s chest as 50 flew off the stage. As 50 was helped back on stage by security, he seemed to immediately recognize that the person he hit was a woman. Therefore, he invited Derr onto the stage to dance as a peace offering of sorts. Derr obliged. The video of the incident, captured by iPhone cameras, immediately went viral, as Youtube commentators pointed out the absurdity of the situation.
Despite Derr dancing on stage after the incident, apparently, the concert goer did not appreciate the situation. According to her newly hired attorney, Warren A. Brown, Derr started experiencing pain the next day and promptly went to the hospital where she was treated for injuries. She then visited the aforementioned attorney and decided to file suit against 50, The Lox and the performance venue (Baltimore Soundstage). The suit has yet to be filed, but her attorney stated that he will file it on her behalf next week. While it is impossible to know the damages the alleged victim will ask for, she will most likely sue 50 cent for personal injury involving assault and battery.
In most situations, personal injury cases involve accidents. However, intentional actions can cause injury too, such as assault and battery. In civil court, assault and battery are called intentional torts (wrongs) in the context of personal injuries. In most personal injury lawsuits, compensation is awarded based on the damages that a victim suffered. In Maryland, this law is explained in Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-105. Furthermore, Derr most likely will sue the venue and The Lox for negligence. Others may be held liable for the torts of another when the venue or the individuals who put the tour together knew or should have known that the incident was likely to occur based on the individual involved, past experiences, lack of preparation and more.
On the other hand, 50 could counter with the “shared fault” defense. When it’s determined that an injured person shares any amount of fault for the incident that led to their injuries, Maryland courts apply a rule called contributory negligence, which prevents the injured person from collecting damages from any other at-fault party. 50 will likely state that his punch was in reaction to the fans aggressive behavior. Furthermore, 50 may even bring up the fact that Derr twerked after the incident, implying that Derr was not injured, not afraid for her personal safety and even endorsed the incident. Also, 50 should be aware that Derr could report the incident to the police, who would then decide if the incident was severe enough to bring criminal charges against 50 cent.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time in recent memory in which an artist had to face the music for an assault on a fan. Last year, Kevin Gates was sentenced to six months in prison after he kicked a female fan at a Florida concert back in 2015. Similarly, Afroman was sued in civil court and pleaded guilty to punching a female concert goer. Hip Hop isn’t the only genre with this problem. Country musician Tim McGraw settled out of court for hitting a female fan during an Atlanta concert.