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1. A Perfect Negligence Case
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Aramark
Clear Channel
Concert Promoter(s)
Hyatt, Corp.
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other A Perfect Circle
Icarus Line
Short Description Injured audience members can be quite a liability. However, there are certain legal protections that prevent them from extorting Defendants for ludicrous reasons. Plaintiff was injured at a concert by A Perfect Circle, during the opening act, a lesser-known L.A. band called The Icarus Line. After the audience purportedly booed the band, its singer launched water bottles into the crowd, one of which hit Plaintiff, who was injured and supposedly became disabled. Plaintiff did not sue the band, however, but numerous entities related to the show's organization, alleging negligence, gross negligence, and improper security or preparation given the circumstances of the concert. However, well-established tort principles prevent Plaintiffs from sustaining negligence actions against Defendants for the tortious or criminal conduct of third parties, unless certain specifications are met, such as the third-party conduct being unreasonable and foreseeable or the Defendant having actual knowledge of the conduct. In this case, the venue proprietor's motion for summary judgment was granted by the trial court and Plaintiff appealed. The appellate court affirmed, finding that the show's proprietor had no reason to foresee the band's behavior; the security service was an independent contractor hired by the proprietor, not an employee or agent; and the proprietor did not know and did not have reason to know of the actions that injured Plaintiff. Furthermore, Plaintiff's motion for a continuance was also denied. - LSW


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2. Norteno Rockeros Butt Heads
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Martinez, Freddie
Record Label(s)
Defendants Ayala, Ram?n (y Los Bravos del Norte)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description This case is somewhat sad, given that the two parties, norteno musician/three-time Grammy winner Ramon Ayala and his label manager/longtime friend Freddie Martinez, had a long-standing professional and personal relationship since the 1970s without formal written contractual agreements. Here, Martinez sued Ayala, alleging Ayala did not live up to his contractual duties; Ayala alleges he did not receive proper royalties. The court granted Ayala's non-suit injunction, thus preventing Martinez from bringing multitudinous or duplicitous lawsuits. - LSW


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3. Pimp C's Estate Issues
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Estate of Artist(s)
Family of Artist(s)
Defendants Individual(s)
Other Pimp C
UGK
Short Description A judgment creditor from a 2001 lawsuit against Pimp C sued C's estate after his death, arguing Plaintiff should have been paid the judgment amount from Pimp's estate assets. He filed an authenticated claim in a Texas court, with the 2001 Georgia default judgment attached, but the court refused to honor Plaintiff's request to turnover assets sufficient to satisfy the Georgia judgment, saying no local court had yet entered a judgment upholding the foreign judgment, and thus--until the issue is resolved locally--upon Pimp C's death the Georgia judgment became merely another claim against the C's estate, and it must now be treated as any other claim would be. However, in an associated case, the Texas court allowed Pimp C's estate to transfer the action to the county of the probate court overseeing the estate's administration. - LSW


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4. The State vs. Trigger-Happy Rapper
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs State Prosecutor(s)
Defendants A.D.
Other Slim Thug
Short Description Texas-based rapper, A.D. (a.k.a. Adrian Green), was found guilty of murder at trial by a jury, after he and his brother fired shots into another car during an altercation. Accounts of the evening differed greatly. The appellate court reversed A.D.'s conviction because he admittedly did not fire the fatal shot, though he was found guilty of murder, while his brother, who allegedly killed the victim, was found guilty of manslaughter. The appellate court held that the jury instructions providing four alternative theories of guilt, one of which was erroneous, resulted in egregious harm because it was unclear which theory formed the basis of the jury's conviction. - SKR & LSW


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5. Haggard's No-Show Blues
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Haggard, Merle
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Merle Haggard entered a contract to perform in Texas, but, for unexplained reasons, he "failed to perform." Plaintiff appears not to be involved with the concert itself, but merely someone who wanted Haggard to be there, who brought suit, but was dismissed for lack of standing. After numerous trial orders dismissing Plaintiff's actions and granted various costs to Defendants, the appellate court affirmed the lower court's dismissal for lack of standing. Plaintiff waited over a year and a half to appeal, well outside the 30 day window allowed. - LSW


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6. Roky Erickson's Unpaid Royalties
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 2000
Plaintiffs Music Publisher(s)
Defendants Erickson, Roky
Lawyer(s)
Trust of Artist(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Roky Erickson was the lead singer for the 13th Floor Elevators, largely considered to be among the first "jam bands" or "pyschedelic rock" acts. After the band's demise, Erickson experienced mental health issues for years before a recent comeback, perhaps due in part to the release of the documentary "You're Gonna Miss Me" and his appearance on PBS's "Austin City Limits." When Erickson's music publisher failed to tender royalty payments to Erickson, assorted associated entities sued. While the case was pending, the publisher transferred its interests to a third party, who transferred them to Defendant. When the Erickson parties sought discovery, Defendants were entirely unresponsive, and, after being sanctioned and compelled by the court to respond, they responded inadequately. Defendants appealed the sanctions, saying no personal jurisdiction existed. The Texas appellate court found Defendant's contacts with Texas--such as tendering royalty statements and honoring contracts entered in the state--were sufficient to confer jurisdiction. Furthermore, Defendant purchased the contracts with knowledge of the outstanding Texas lawsuits. At a minimum, Defendant knew at purchase involvement in the Texas lawsuit was inevitable. Since jurisdiction existed, the sanctions were upheld. - LSW


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7. Songwriter Ditches Manager
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 1997
Plaintiffs Music Manager(s)
Music Producer(s)
Record Label(s)
Defendants Chinwah, Madukwu
Other Badu, Eryka
Short Description Madukwu Chinwah is a songwriter, artist, and producer (for Erykah Badu, among others), who signed several management, production and recording agreements with Defendant Jones. The relationship later fell apart, both asserting the other had breached the contract first. Chinwah then failed to appear at shows arranged by Plaintiff and refused to return equipment Jones used to record Chinwah's song. When Erykah Badu's album was released with Chinwah's songs, and was a big success, Jones attempted to assert his rights under the former agreement, and Chinwah sued for a declaratory judgment that the contract was no longer enforceable, requesting a temporary restraining order awaiting a trial on the merits. The trial court allowed a temporary restraining order, preventing Jones from attempting to enforce his prior contractual rights, but the appellate court dissolved the order, saying this would disturb the "status quo"; the lower court had abused its discretion. - LSW


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8. Charity Organizer Shows Off Cher
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 1994
Plaintiffs Nonprofit Organization(s)
Defendants Individual(s)
Journalist(s)
Newspaper Publisher(s)
Other Cher
Short Description Cher is not directly involved in the lawsuit, but was necessary to its cause. Plaintiff is a fundraising, self-described philanthropist, whose "International Craniofacial Foundation" purports to raise money to provide medical and psychological assistance to children with craniofacial deformities, but is accused by a former officer and local newspaper of mostly just throwing lavish parties. One such program, an evening drinking tea with Cher, became the subject of much public criticism. Plaintiff's defamation claim is defeated by summary judgment; the statements are, well, true. - LSW


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9. Timbuk 3 Photographer vs. IRS Records
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 1991
Plaintiffs Photographer(s)
Defendants IRS Records
Other Timbuk 3
Short Description I.R.S. Records, Defendant, hired Plaintiff to photograph the musical group Timbuk 3, which Plaintiff did, and, according to the agreement, thereafter promptly sent Defendant chrome negatives, which I.R.S. returned in damaged condition. Plaintiff brought suit according to a liquidated damages provision determining $1,500 minimum per "chrome," equaling over $50,000. The trial court initially found for Plaintiff for the requested damages, but later remitted it to $15,000. The appellate court agreed with the first amount, saying damages were speculative at the time of contracting and $1,500 per "chrome" was not outlandish, thus rendering an award for Plaintiff of $51,000 plus $5,000 in attorney's fees. - LSW


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10. Insurer Balks After Croce's Crash
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Texas
Year Ended 1982
Plaintiffs Insurer(s)
Defendants Private Airline(s)
Other Croce, Jim
Short Description Plaintiff is the insurer of the company that chartered the aircraft that crashed and killed Jim Croce and his crew. Plaintiff sued to deny coverage, alleging the actual aircraft used was not owned by Plaintiff (an alternative was chosen for technical reasons near the last minute), but the court did not agree with the argument, finding the replacement aircraft was a "substitute" for that insured by Plaintiffs, and thus fell under the insurance policy. - LSW


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