Lawsuit Between Ky Rodgers & Mikel Knight Does Not Move Forward

Country rap artist Mikel Knight lost a wrongful death civil suit in Nashville’s Davidson County Circuit Court on October 21st, and a jury awarded the mothers of two deceased individuals who previously worked for the entertainer a total of $20,718,575.20 in compensatory and punitive damages.

But the legal troubles were not over for Mikel Knight, whose real name is Jason Cross. Though the mothers of Taylor Robert Nixon and Robert Joseph Underfinger III had finally received restitution, another former employee of Mikel Knight named Ky Rodgers still had an outstanding lawsuit to settle as well, with a jury trial set to proceed on October 31st. However, that trial never happened.

At one point, the legal matters concerning both Ky Rodgers and the mothers of the deceased workers had been combined into one. The decision was made to separate the cases because the accidents happened in two different states. Whereas the two young men who died were in Texas, Ky Rodgers suffered his injuries while in Utah. The fear was different laws pertaining to different states might confuse the jury.

The account of Ky Rodgers working on a Mikel Knight street team ended when the van he was riding in fell off a 3-story cliff in Utah and he was severely injured. Ky Rodgers had to be flown via helicopter to a hospital from the crash scene. He broke his L2, L3, and L4 vertebrae, pelvis, sacrum, and was in the hospital for a week. Rodgers was left with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

The Ky Rodgers account of his time employed on one of Mikel Knight’s street teams soon went viral, and would continuously get reshared as street teams traveled to locations across the United States to sell Mikel Knight CDs in decal wrapped motorhomes and vans. It became the basis of the Saving Country Music investigation, The Sound of Deception, Country Rap’s Mikel Knight & His Notorious Street Teams, which uncovered a history of violent and criminal behavior from Mikel Knight.

Since Mikel Knight took out a countersuit against Ky Rodgers for speaking out about his experience in his street teams, there was a possibility that even if Ky Rodgers won his case, Mikel Knight could win his case against Ky Rodgers as well. So both parties mutually agreed to drop their cases.

“I’m super excited for the mothers. They got justice in their case,” Ky Rodgers tells Saving Country Music. “I’ve started to make a name for myself in music. I’m in a good place in life. My little girl’s nine years old. My back is still messed up, it sucks, and I’m going to be stuck with medical bills forever, but I’m a really firm believer in God and my spiritual life, and if I chose to push forward with this, simply because I know there’s a chance of getting money, that would change my whole purpose.”

Even though the Ky Rodgers trial didn’t move forward, he doesn’t feel like his efforts were fruitless. “I did it because the mothers didn’t have anyone to stand beside them in the beginning. It took years … People stopped caring. I had a huge following from it at one point. But it’s been such a lengthy case, people forgot about it.”

Rodgers also says that his experience during the trial involving the two mothers made it worth it. “I feel like [Mikel Knight] finally had a moment where he was like, ‘Wow. This is a grown man. This was not that 19-year-old boy that [I knew].’ For me, that was justice. The mothers winning, that was justice.”

Still, for the plaintiffs against Mikel Knight, there was a sense of relief at the jury award, but not one of satisfaction. Mikel Knight never apologized, and it remains to be seen how much money the mothers will ultimately receive from the country rap performer.

Mikel Knight has since moved to Florida, and calls himself semi-retired, though he continues to make music videos, and street teams selling his CDs have been spotted in Florida recently. Saving Country Music reached out to Mikel Knight for comment on the lawsuits, but he did not respond.

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