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1. Motley Crowd vs. Motley Crue
Highest Court M.D. Florida
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Live Nation
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Other Aerosmith
Mötley Crüe
Short Description At an Aerosmith and Motley Crue concert in Florida, a member of Motley Crue (though the opinion doesn't say who) allegedly leapt from the stage and assaulted the Plaintiff, a first-row fan. Security guards allegedly joined in and assaulted Plaintiff as well. Plaintiff sued various parties involved in throwing the concert for negligence, negligent hiring, vicarious assault liability, and premises liability. However, Plaintiff's complaint was apparently horribly written: he did not allege any relationship (employment or otherwise) between Defendants and the band members and security guards; he did not plead the basic elements of negligence; in short, he botched every count. The court held Plaintiff failed to state a single cause of action and dismissed the complaint, but gave advice for an adequate complaint. - LSW


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2. Coked-Out Fan Sues for Injury
Highest Court E.D. Pennsylvania
Year Ended 1998
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Security Service(s)
Other Mötley Crüe
Short Description Motley Crue's fans are a motley crew in and of themselves. In this hilarious case, Plaintiff was quite obviously a burnout and an idiot; he broke his neck while drunk, coked out, standing on a 4-foot-hight barrier, and resisting security guards' attempts to bring him down and prevent him from rushing the stage. He even punched one of the guards in the face. Furthermore, his neck was already fragile from a moronic attempt to jump across an eight foot pit at a construction site a year earlier (again while drunk). At that's not even an exclusive list. Jeez. The court was very kind, and excluded the cocaine and other evidence from trial. Nevertheless, unsurprisingly, the jury found that any negligence on Defendants' part was inconsequential. Plaintiff was remarkably negligent himself. According to the court, Plaintiff's lawyer was pretty bad too, spending many hours researching a futile argument against the court's rather routine practice of trial bifurcation, presenting appeals on issues never objected to at trial, and seeking to admit expert testimony from someone without knowledge of the subject of his testimony. All evidence was strongly, undeniably in Defendant's favor. - LSW


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3. Lee & Anderson's Sex Tape Suit
Highest Court C.D. California
Year Ended 1997
Plaintiffs Anderson, Pamela
Lee, Tommy
Defendants Magazine Publisher(s)
Media Corporation(s)
Penthouse Magazine
Other Mötley Crüe
Short Description In a case that arose from the infamous sex tape depicted Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson (Lee) on their honeymoon, Lee sued Penthouse for publishing photographs from the tape, which was allegedly stolen from Lee and Pamela's home. Dismissed. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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4. Vince Neil Doesn't Sell Well
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 1996
Plaintiffs Music Merchandiser(s)
Defendants Neil, Vince
Other Mötley Crüe
Short Description In 1993, after "alternative rock" killed off what little was left of 1980s "glam metal," Vince Neil, lead singer for Motley Crue, decided to embark on a tour of his own. Plaintiff and Vince Neil's loan-out corporation, VN Merchandising, entered a contract granting Plaintiff exclusive merchandising rights throughout the tour, and guaranteeing 800,000 paid attendees in return for a $1,000,000 advance. Neil misjudged his popularity and only drew 533,032 people. Plaintiff sued, requesting unrecouped amounts from the advance. Neil did not deny breach of contract, but denied personal liability, saying only VN Merch could be sued. Of course, since VN's only asset was Neil's likeness, suing VN was pointless. Plaintiff pointed to an "inducement letter" Neil had signed stipulating his commitment to honor the contract, which is a common practice in the industry. The parties disagreed as to the meaning of the contract; Plaintiff alleged Neil personally guaranteed his compay's financial obligations, while Neil argued he'd merely agreed to put forth his "best efforts." Plaintiff's interpretation was reasonable, and there were discrepancies in Neil's testimony regarding the language. Thus summary judgment was denied. This issue will require a little more litigation. - LSW


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5. Metal Gods vs. Bootleggers (II)
Highest Court First Circuit
Year Ended 1985
Plaintiffs Bi-Rite Enterprises
Duran Duran
Iron Maiden
Judas Priest
Defendants Music Merchandiser(s)
Other Asia
Belle Stars
Collins, Phil
Culture Club
Dolby, Thomas
Doobie Brothers
Fastway
Genesis
Manilow, Barry
Mötley Crüe
Nazareth
Quarter Flash
Quiet Riot
Rainbow
Squier, Billy
Stray Cats
Summer, Donna
Who
Short Description The Plaintiffs were two American companies that made and distributed posters of the individual plaintiffs, various British rock band members. The Defendants, Bruce Miner and his company, also sold posters of these performers but claimed that they used legally purchased European photographs. The question for the court was whether to apply the law of the person in the picture or the merchandise representative. Unlike most American jurisdictions, Britain did not recognize a right of publicity that allows a person to protect the appropriation of their image. To determine which law to apply, the federal court looks to the laws of the jurisdiction in which it sits. The Court examined several factors that look at the needs and expectations of the parties, the policies of the relevant jurisdiction, and the promotion of the predictability of outcomes. The Court was reluctant to use British law because it would not afford protection to British artists, an important consideration since there is so much interaction between the two. The Court was less confident concerning the expectations of the parties. While American merchandisers presume their exclusivity of market, the Defendants thought they had legal posters. The British custom of having open photo shoots, where photographers distributed photos possibly for their later profit, could not be said to mean that the British rockers thought they were not retaining their rights in America (especially considering the differences in law). The Court finally based their decision to use American law on the ease of applying one nation's standard so that there would be certainty for all parties doing business here. - JMC


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