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1. Christian Country Song in School?
Highest Court M.D. Florida
Year Ended 2009
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Public Shool(s)
Other Diamond Rio
Short Description The family of a child sued to enjoin the practicing and performance of a song by country music artist, Diamond Rio, called "In God We Trust," which is absurdly favorable to religion, even saying "There are those among us who want to push [God] out and erase His name from everything," but that "it's time for all believers to make our voices heard," and "Here in America He's the one we turn to." Obviously, this cannot pass the Lemon test for state actions, which requires them to be secular in intent and impact, and the court granted the family's injunction. - LSW


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2. Band Member Injured at Gig
Highest Court Supreme Court of Kansas
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Band Member(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Other Ranch Hands
Short Description Plaintiff's musical group, The Ranch Hands, are a local band contracted by Defendants to perform at a New Year's Eve ball. While loading equipment, Plaintiff slipped on ice and fell, breaking some bones. The trial court found for Defendants on ordinary negligence claims, holding the "recreational use" immunity applied. While the appellate court reversed, the Kansas Supreme Court agreed with the lowest court. Only gross negligence claims, not immunized by the protective doctrine of "recreational use," will go to trial. - LSW


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3. Officers Hurt Stones Fan at Gig
Highest Court S.D. Ohio
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Business Entity of Artist(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Police Officer(s)
Other Rolling Stones
Short Description Concert-goer bought merchandise at concert, but was stopped by plainclothes officers intent on stopping bootleggers. After officers failed to identify themselves, Plaintiffs physically defended themselves and their goods. In trial, jury found for Plaintiffs, who then brought action against Rolling Stones as employers of the officers. Dismissed. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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4. Great White in Deep Shit
Highest Court D. Rhode Island
Year Ended 2006
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Estate of Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Anheuser-Busch
Clear Channel
Great White
Individual(s)
Insurer(s)
Multiple Corporation(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Manager(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Radio Station(s)
Record Label(s)
Shell Oil
State Entity and/or Official(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description After Great White's pyrotechnics caught fire in an outrageously under-prepared venue in Rhode Island calledThe Station, over 100 deaths resulted, as well as several hundred injuries. No surprise then, it also resulted in about as many lawsuits. This entry covers a large swath of these suits, each of which addresses various parties and their roles in the horrific accident, including the band, their companies, state entities, the venue and others. While not everyone was liable, the venue was certainly subpar regarding building codes, and the band were a bunch of jack-asses (not necessarily legally). Lighting off fireworks in a club with less than 500 people. Seriously. Oughtta be ashamed. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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5. McDaniel Falls Into Orchestra Pit
Highest Court Court of Appeal of Louisiana
Year Ended 2006
Plaintiffs McDaniel, Mel
Defendants Insurer(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description When McDaniel fell into an orchestra pit at a concert and suffered serious physical damages, he sued for negligence and tort liability. The trial court found the singer 65% at fault and city only 15% at fault, but the appellate court found these percentages to be in error. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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6. Nelly's Staff Whoops On a Fan
Highest Court Superior Court of Connecticut
Year Ended 2006
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
Nelly
Security Guard(s)
Security Service(s)
Universal Music Group
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description As owner of the "Chocolate City News, Plaintiff sent an employee photographer to Nelly's concert in Connecticut, whereupon the employee was purportedly assaulted by concert staff and rendered unable to photograph the concert. The photographer filed his own suit, but Plaintiff also sued (Defendants included Nelly, Universal Records, the City of Bridgeport, and the concert's proprietor and promoter), alleging essentially the same causes as his employee, including assault and battery, negligence, etc., which caused injury to his employee and economic injury to his business. All of Plaintiff's complaints were dismissed by the court; Plaintiff had failed to properly and/or timely serve numerous Defendants, and furthermore, none of his causes of action alleged valid legal theories. He was essentially suing for negligent damage to his business, but Plaintiff had not proved (not could he prove) that Defendant owed him or his business any duty, or that damage to his business would be a foreseeable consequence of their actions. - LSW


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7. Puff and D's Stampede Insurance
Highest Court New York Supreme Court
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Insurer(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Defendants Combs, Sean
Educational Institution(s)
Heavy D (and the Boyz)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description After Sean Combs and Heavy D were each held 50% liable for the deaths and damages resulting from an overexcited crowd hoping to gain access to the celebrity basketball game the two organized (thrown at the City College of New York's Nat Holman Gymnasium), Heavy D's insurance company sought to deny coverage. The insurer tried numerous theories of denial, alleging the event was a "theatrical presentation" for which Heavy D contracted, and that it constituted "self-promotion," among others, which would have fallen outside the policy. The court found the arguments meritless. Insurance policies are strictly construed against insurers, and here Heavy's activities did not fit any of the recognized exclusions; it was not a concert and was not a self-promotion. Further, D and Puffy were not joint venturers, so Puffy's status as "promoter" could not be imputed to D, who was really just brought on to coach one of the teams. The appellate divisions affirmed the decision; the insurer was required to indemnify Heavy for the costs and liabilities arising from the incident. Whatever happened to Combs's liability, however, is not stated. For an earlier case relating to the police's involvement, see "Police at Fault for Concert Trampling?" - LSW


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8. Disabled Fan: "Garth Discriminates!"
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Washington
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Brooks, Garth
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description A wheelchair-bound Garth Brooks fan purchased tickets for a specially-designated section of the stands reserved for patrons in wheelchairs; the rows immediately in front were roped off to preserve a view of the stage. "Floor tickets" allowed entrance to the area directly in front of the stage, but did not provide seating. Wheelchairs were traditionally not allowed there, because patrons normally stand up, blocking the view, and dance around, creating a hazard. When Plaintiff left the concert early, alleging she couldn't see the stage, she sued everyone involved, including Brooks, for discrimination on account of her handicap. Unfortunately, Plaintiff's argument is rather circular. Though a specific area was blocked off for handicapped patrons, and local regulations require handicapped seating to have unobstructed views of the stage, Plaintiff seems to say that, because the floor area would have been the "best" view, she was entitled to it. This is not the case. Brooks requested the area immediately in front of the stage for personal use, thus no one could use it (including people not in wheelchairs), and the concert provided adequate alternatives, abiding by local regulations in the process. Plaintiff failed to present evidence sufficient to avoid summary judgment, and failed to file a continuance when appropriate to seek additional discovery requests from Defendants. - LSW


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9. Ticked Off Police Go To Court
Highest Court E.D. Michigan
Year Ended 2003
Plaintiffs Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Police Officer(s)
Defendants Aftermath Entertainment
Amazon.com
AOL-Time-Warner
Barnes & Noble
Best Buy
Blockbuster
Borders Group, Inc.
Circuit City
Dr. Dre
Individual(s)
Interscope Records
Johnson, Ervin "Magic"
Music Retailer(s)
Other Eminem
Ice Cube
Snoop Dogg
Short Description When Detroit officials, citing obscenity statutes, demanded a Snoop, Dre, Ice Cube, and Eminem not play a video during the opening of a local performance of their "Up in Smoke Tour," members of the artists' entourage and tour staff recorded multiple conversations with the officials, and later released them as bonus tracks on a commercial DVD. Various officials and members of the police force, whose voices or images were captured in the footage, sued for numerous causes of action, but all the state claims were dismissed by the federal court, which refused to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. Only the federal wiretap claims went to the judge on motions for summary judgment. Plaintiffs claimed Defendants intercepted, disclosed, and used footage wrongfully obtained. The District Court denied Defendants motion to dismiss on the "one party consent exception," finding Plaintiffs stated a cognizable claim Defendants intended to use the footage for tortious purposes, and allowed Plaintiffs to amend. Following this holding, a parallel state court proceeding was decided in Defendants' favor, holding Plaintiffs were aware their conversations were not private, but proceeded anyway. When the federal District Court visited Defendants' motion for summary judgment after the state ruling, it applied the doctrine of collateral estoppel, finding the issue precluded, having already been determined by a competent state court. - LSW


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10. Ruffed Up at the Black Crowes Gig
Highest Court Sixth Circuit
Year Ended 2002
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Police Officer(s)
Security Guard(s)
Other Black Crowes
Short Description Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence after allegedly being assaulted by security guards and police officers at a Black Crowes concert in Detroit, Michigan. Plaintiff was awarded $1.2 million by a jury at trial, and Defendant appealed, seeking a new trial and arguing that the jury award was excessive. The court denied Defendant's motion for a new trial and held that the jury award was not excessive. - SKR


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11. Dru Hill Fan Hurt at Show
Highest Court Court of Appeal of Louisiana
Year Ended 2001
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Insurer(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Other Dru Hill
Short Description An attendee at a rap concert injured himself while descending stairs during Dru Hill's performance. Plaintiff sued the concert's promoter and the city for negligence, but not the artist himself. Judgment for Defendants. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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12. Police at Fault for Concert Trampling?
Highest Court New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Year Ended 1999
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Combs, Sean
Educational Institution(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Police Officer(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description In 1991, before Sean "Puff Daddy"/"Puffy"/"P. Ditty" Combs was the uber famous rapper, producer, and mogul he is today, he hosted a celebrity basketball game at the City College of New York, co-coaching the two teams with Heavy D, which resulted in an idiotic stampede amongst the attendees that killed nine people and injured others. Apparently, the stampede resulted when fans tried to rush into the event, which might have been oversold or inadequately staffed. Puffy and Heavy were held liable, though this case only dealt with the liability of the State of New York and the police department, who were present at the event, which was held on State-owned property. The court held the state and municipal entities were shielded from liability under governmental immunity; to hold them liable, Plaintiffs would need to show the government assumed responsiblity for planning, security, or management of the event. This was not shown. They were acting in their usual capacity at the time. For the resulting insurance coverage dispute, see "Puff and D's Stampede Insurance." - LSW


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13. Trouble at B.B.'s Restaurant
Highest Court W.D. Tennessee
Year Ended 1999
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants B.B. King's Blues Club
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Police Officer(s)
Other King, B.B.
Short Description At B.B. King's restaurant in Memphis, TN, a customer was asked to leave and refused. During altercation with guards, customer was accidentally asphyxiated, and family sued. Defendants' motions for summary judgment dismissed. - [This entry is not yet complete or has not been edited/checked.]


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14. 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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15. Very Delusional Plaintiff
Highest Court D. Arizona
Year Ended 1995
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Diamond, Neil
Federal Entity and/or Official(s)
Individual(s)
Mathis, Johnny
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Politician(s)
Professional Athlete(s)
Williams, Andy
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description In one of the most entertaining cases within this database involving mentally delusional Plaintiffs suing celebrities for various outlandish acts, the Plaintiff here sued musicians Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, and Andy Williams, in addition to various public figures, including Barbara Bush and Charles Barkley, for various acts, including intentionally inflicting emotional distress and, as is common with such suits, violating Plaintiff's constitutional rights in some way (here he alleged Civil Rights complaints). Specifically, he claimed they used him "as a guinea pig by injecting Plaintiff with germs, subjecting Plaintiff to electric shocks, and examining and inserting probes into Plaintiff's orifices." The case was, obviously, dismissed. And the opinion doesn't even say what Barkley's involvement was! - LSW


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16. Lewis & Playboys' Fan Injured
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Wisconsin
Year Ended 1995
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Insurer(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Other Lewis, Gary (and His Playboys)
Short Description Plaintiff was among the numerous attendees eager to view Gary Lewis and the Playboys up close and personal at an event held on city property. After being personally injured during a surprisingly frantic dash to the front of the viewing area, Plaintiff sued the city, who argued they were not liable according to a statute limiting liability for injuries at "recreational events." Wisconsin's appellate court affirmed this event was not "commercial," but "recreational," and thus Defendant owed no duty. Still, why were people freaking out about Gary Lewis in the mid-1990s? - LSW


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17. Wacko Sues Pretenders, Harvard & More
Highest Court E.D. Pennsylvania
Year Ended 1993
Plaintiffs Mentally Unstable Individual(s)
Defendants Educational Institution(s)
Individual(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Pretenders
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description This plaintiff somehow managed to waste 12 pages of official court reporters, and all he had to do was sue everyone he could think of and fit on one cocktail napkin. Suing Harvard, the Pretenders (Chrissie Hynde is alleged to be his wife, though she doesn't do her part), the U.S. President, the entire population of England, and others, Plaintiff argued the various Defendants wronged him in various ways. Not only is his suit frivolous, but the court found a permanent injunction appropriate, preventing Plaintiff from re-filing this (or similar) allegations against the parties. - LSW


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18. "The Man" vs. 2 Live Crew (II)
Highest Court D. Rhode Island
Year Ended 1990
Plaintiffs Music Promoter(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Other 2 Live Crew
Short Description A Town Council learned of 2 Live Crew's reputation and attempted to prevent a planned concert in Rhode Island by revoking the promoter's entertainment licenses under town ordinances. The court granted the promoters a preliminary injunction, preventing the town council from holding a hearing to consider revocation of the promoters' entertainment license. - SKR


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19. No Mo' Peabo? Oh No!
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Georgia
Year Ended 1989
Plaintiffs Music Promoter(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Other Bryson, Peabo
Short Description Plaintiff entered contract with Defendant, a city alderman, for a Peabo Bryson concert, but Defendants canceled the show and Plaintiffs sued, recovering a little over $2,000 at trial. When Plaintiff appealed the judgment, he failed to produce the requested court transcript within a reasonable time, and his appeal was dismissed. The judgment was affirmed. - LSW


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20. Injured Diana Fan Sues City
Highest Court New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Year Ended 1988
Plaintiffs Concert Attendee(s)
Defendants Film Producer(s)
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Paramount Pictures
Other Ross, Diana
Short Description This is one of those cases with facts that make you say "What theÉ?!?" At a free Diana Ross concert held in Central Park, New York, at the behest of the City, Paramount arranged to videotape the performance for commercial release. According to Plaintiff (an injured fan), the audience was crammed in "like sardines," when panic errupted, allegedly because some people started shouting, "get out of the way, there's a lion, a lion!" (What the...?!?) In Plaintiff's negligence action, the trial court granted summary judgment for Paramount and the City; Paramount was merely licensed to film the event and the City alleged, first, all responsibilities for security rested on the producer, and second, the tortious conduct of third parties was unforeseeable. The appellate division reversed, saying issues of triable fact existed. Whether the producer assumed responsibility to the city did not preclude the public from bringing suit, and, further, Defendant's inability to anticipate the "precise manner of the accident," like an escaped lion (What the...?!?) does not preclude liability. Paramount's involvement also necessitated fact-finding before disposition. Back to trial. - LSW


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