This week, Judge Castel dismissed claims against Jeffery Atkins (better known as Ja Rule) over his role in the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival (see our previous post here).

Judge Castel held that, while tweets and Instagram posts could be considered material misrepresentations, plaintiffs failed to plead a fraud claim because they did not allege that they had seen the tweets or Instagram posts in question (and thus could not have relied on them). Judge Castel also focused on the forward-looking nature of the statements that Atkins made:

Atkins and Margolin were participants in organizing or promoting a large-scale event. There is no assertion that the Festival when first conceived or introduced to the public was intended not to go forward or that defendants intended not to perform by organizing the advertised amenities and accommodation. The Complaint states that defendants were aware for “months” that there were no showers, electricity, bathrooms, medical services, or activities on the island. This, without more, does not plausibly allege that defendants months before the event intended not to hire or contract for such services. Many of the statements alleged in the Complaint, such as those from the Fyre Festival advertising video and the Festival’s FAQ page, arise from promotional materials likely released early-on in the lifespan of an event. Even if the date of these statements were alleged, the plaintiffs have not plausibly alleged that the statements were made with a fraudulent intent. The statements are promissory statements regarding future conduct that without more do not give rise to a claim in fraud.