Michael Jackson Sues Concert Promoter To Block Hearing
10.04.2005 9:34 AM EDT

Singer’s filing claims contract breach, attempts to stop scheduled arbitration. Michael Jackson Photo: Getty Images

Lawyers for Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit on Monday against German concert promoter {tag Marcel Avram} — legal action designed to thwart an arbitration hearing scheduled for later this month.

According to The Associated Press, the suit was filed in Los Angeles on behalf of Jackson and his MJ Company against Avram and his German-based operation and claims breach of contract; no damages were specified in court documents.

The suit further seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent Avram from proceeding with an arbitration hearing set for October 24. Jackson’s suit is just the latest chapter in an ongoing legal saga more than five years in the making.

Avram first filed a $21 million lawsuit back in 2000, claiming Jackson pulled the plug on two concerts booked for New Year’s Eve 1999 in Sydney, Australia, and Honolulu. That suit also sought an additional $13 million for June 1999 charity shows Avram promoted in Korea and Germany.

Jackson did perform at those concerts, but Avram claimed the shows cost him a substantial sum. The promoter eventually lost that case. Back in 2003, a Santa Monica, California, jury awarded Avram $5.3 million in lost profits for the Jackson gigs that never happened (see "Jury Says Michael Jackson Must Pay $5.3 Million To Promoter").

The AP reports that both Jackson and Avram reached a settlement agreement that same year which resolved all existing claims associated with the nixed concerts and shut the door to future lawsuits.

Lingering disputes that arose in the wake of the settlement were supposed to be resolved in Superior Court, as provided in the agreement. Avram instead moved for arbitration, according to the wire service.

In arbitration hearings, each side presents evidence before a panel of mediators that renders a written decision — or an award amount. Jackson’s suit seeks to prevent alternative forms of dispute resolution including arbitration — which does not have a standard appeal process.

Depending on the arguments’ effectiveness on the arbitrators, the panel’s final decision could cost Jackson even more money.

— Chris Harris

Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1510839/20051004/index.jhtml?headlines=true

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