- Artfi CEO Asif Kamal is initiating legal proceedings against Yuga Labs for eye injuries suffered at ApeFest Hong Kong.
- Several ApeFest attendees reported eye issues, allegedly due to improper lighting at the venue.
- Yuga Labs says they are investigating the situation and take it seriously. Speculation points to UV-C bulbs being used instead of blacklights.
Art technology company Artfi’s CEO, Asif Kamal, has initiated legal proceedings against Yuga Labs, the maker of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs, after suffering from an eye infection and facial burns during ApeFest in Hong Kong.
The decision to pursue legal action comes as reports surface of several ApeFest attendees experiencing eye injuries, purportedly due to inadequate lighting at the event’s venue. Kamal expressed his concerns, stating, “I don’t want the price of Apes, the BAYC community, Yuga Labs, or anyone who has supported this Web3 ecosystem to suffer, but neglecting it is something that has offended me so much.”
Yuga Labs responded by indicating that they are still investigating and taking the situation seriously. Speculation on Twitter suggests that UV-C bulbs intended for disinfection might have been used instead of blacklights during the event.
As Kamal recounted his distressing visit to Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he received treatment for his eye condition, he described sending a legal notice to Yuga Labs as the “first step toward suing them.” He spoke of feeling helpless during the ordeal and experiencing temporary blindness.
Turning friends into family out here at ApeFest !!
— EvanLuthra.eth (@EvanLuthra) November 4, 2023
Yuga Labs reported that less than 1% of the 2,250 ApeFest attendees exhibited symptoms related to eye issues but encouraged anyone with concerns to seek medical attention as a precaution.
In an interview from Dubai, Kamal, now wearing sunglasses, revealed his ongoing vision troubles and discomfort in one eye. Before the incident, he owned a Mutant Ape NFT and purchased a $60,000 Bored Ape to support the BAYC community in front of co-founder Greg “Garga” Solano.
Kamal shared that two other attendees he knows are facing similar symptoms, and he hopes Yuga Labs will prioritize safety measures for future events. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding the community’s well-being, contributing to Yuga Labs’ success.
In this unfolding situation, legal action may shed light on the responsibilities of event organizers and creators in ensuring attendee safety at NFT gatherings like ApeFest.