It was July 2014 when a younger man named Ky Rodgers first launched an in-depth, first-hand account of his time on considered one of nation rap artist Mikel Knight’s road groups. It was at this level that many first grew to become conscious of the allegedly harmful and finally lethal working situations that road staff members have been reportedly subjected to whereas working for the entertainer.

Along with the harrowing tales of working hours and hours promoting CDs face-to-face, witnessing bodily assaults on fellow road staff members, generally left behind in distant cities for poor gross sales efficiency, and others not being paid for his or her work, Ky’s account of labor on a Mikel Knight Street staff ended when the van he was driving in fell off a three-story cliff in Utah, severely injuring him. Ky Rodgers needed to be flown to a hospital from the scene of the accident. He had fractured the L2, L3 and L4 vertebrae, pelvis and sacrum and was within the hospital for every week and left the hospital with $38,000 in medical payments.

Ky Rodgers’ account of his time with considered one of Mikel Knight’s road groups quickly went viral and was shared time and again as road groups traveled to areas throughout the United States to promote Mikel Knight CDs.

As harrowing as Ky Rodgers’ story was to learn, it was even worse for the households of Taylor Robert Nixon and Robert Joseph Underfinger III, each of whom crashed 16 occupants into an accident that left the highway after over-correcting and dropping management and rolled a number of instances earlier than they got here to a cease. The supervisor of the Mikel Knight Street staff and one different particular person have been additionally injured within the incident.

Now, after eight years of making an attempt to get justice and redress in opposition to Mikel Knight, Ky Rodgers and the households of Robert Nixon and Robert Underfinger are lastly getting their likelihood in courtroom. Following the consolidation of all three issues right into a civil continuing and quite a few delays as a consequence of Mikel Knight’s change of authorized groups, a trial with Mikel Knight because the defendant will start within the courtroom of Judge Thomas W. Brothers, who begins Oct. 17 in Davidson County Circuit Court in Nashville begins.

To be taught extra concerning the Ky Rodgers account, the deaths of Robert Nixon and Robert Underfinger, and extra of Mikel Knight’s story, learn on The Sound of Deception, Mikel Knight of Country Rap & His Notorious Street Teams.

The Estate of Robert Nixon, represented by his mom Shannon Baseman, and the Estate of Robert Joseph Underfinger III, represented by his mom Donna Taylor, are suing Jason Cross – aka Mikel Knight – his firms 1203 Entertainment, MDRST (Maverick Dirt Road Street Team) Marketing/Promotions, Stephanie Cross (partner) and Justin Hoskins, the motive force of the van concerned within the deadly accident.

There are eight separate counts within the lawsuit, together with negligence and recklessness, negligent entrustment, negligent supervision/hiring/coaching, fraud, willful infliction of emotional misery, and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The lawsuit alleges that the poor working situations and insufferable calls for positioned on highway staff members induced driver Justin Hoskins to go to sleep on the wheel, which finally led to the deaths of Robert Nixon and Robert Joseph Underfinger III.

The lawsuit reads partly: “Taylor Nixon and Robert Unfinger were injured and killed as a direct result of the negligence, despondency, recklessness, incompetence, inexperience and/or impairment of the defendant Hoskins in consenting to Hoskins’ negligent and/or wanton entrustment of the vehicle.” to him by Defendants Cross, Knight, 1203 Entertainment, MDRST and Doe Defendants AE.”

In the incident that severely injured Ky Rodgers, authorities additionally cited driver Danny Cantrell’s fatigue as a explanation for the accident, which is cited within the lawsuit. The lawsuit reads partly:

“While Defendant Cantrell was driving the van east on State Road 44, he fell asleep at the wheel and the van crossed the center line, veered left off the road, slid down an embankment, rolled on the driver’s side and struck a tree . Defendants Cross and/or Knight and/or 1203 Entertainment and/or MDRST and/or Doe Defendants AE knew or should have known that Defendant Cantrell was operating their van while exhausted, but Defendants required Cantrell to do so To continue operating Van while exhausted, and in fact required or encouraged Cantrell and Plantiff to work long hours and afforded them little opportunity for regular and restful sleep.”

The lawsuit alleges that the extreme conditions in which road team members were forced to work resulted in the deaths and injuries. The lawsuit seeks actual and exemplary damages, funeral and burial costs, and the mothers’ loss of consortium and society in the deaths of their sons. The complaints do not cite a specific dollar amount for what they are looking for.

The stories of Taylor Nixon, Robert Unfinger and Ky Rodgers aren’t the only ones to describe abuse and dangerous working conditions on Mikel Knight’s street teams. A Facebook group called Families Against Mikel Knight and the MDRST was set up and shared dozens of other accounts from former Street Team members.

In June 2016, a Mikel Knight Street team van was involved in another accident when it boned an elderly woman in a small Nissan pickup. The elderly woman was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance. “The poor chap really appeared relieved to have misplaced his job with them within the accident,” native police chief Bobby Floyd stated of the accident, highlighting the troublesome situations confronted by highway staff members even after the earlier accidents and fatalities remained.

For the a part of Mikel Knight, the entertainer has all the time claimed to not be answerable for the damage to Ky Rodgers or the deaths of Taylor Nixon and Robert Unfinger. He additionally claims that the explanation there are such a lot of disgruntled ex-members of his road staff is as a result of he purposely employed troubled people and ex-convicts to provide them a second likelihood. Knight introduced his personal lawsuit in opposition to Facebook over the web page Families Against Mikel Knight and the MDRST, which grew to become a landmark free speech case involving social media firms. Mikel Knight and has additionally threatened or filed lawsuits in opposition to the households of injured and deceased former Street Team members, in addition to Saving Country Music for reporting the incidents involving Mikel Knight and his Street Teams.

Mikel Knight has an in depth felony report, together with six separate assault expenses from 1995 to 2006 within the San Antonio space and quite a few assault, theft and vandalism expenses, together with a number of crimes in Davidson County (Nashville) that started in 2006 when he moved to the world.

Following Ky Rodgers’ viral Facebook account and protection by Saving Country Music, the saga of Mikel Night and his road groups grew to become a nationwide narrative, with Gawker publishing an in-depth take a look at the story and Vice making Mikel Night a key a part of a documentary Nashville.

Stay tuned for Saving Country Music as Mikel Knight’s trial unfolds.

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