Hard rockers Aerosmith, which recently announced plans for a 2009 tour, may want to consider adding a stop in Hawaii in May to their trek.
That’s when the class action lawsuit filed against the band by a group of fans in Hawaii is scheduled to go to trial, according to one of the attorneys involved in the case.
Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Joseph Cardoza is scheduled to hear opening arguments on the case on May 11, 2009, and currently the plaintiffs are awaiting discovery phase materials from the defendants.
“The defendants have already had the opportunity to take the depositions of all of the named class representatives,” Attorney Brandee Faria, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the fans, told TicketNews. “After we have received all the discovery (primarily documents) we have asked for from defendants, we will begin taking the depositions of the band and others who were involved in the concert and the subsequent cancellation.”
Aerosmith became embroiled in the case after they canceled a concert scheduled for September 26, 2007, in Maui, allegedly to play a more lucrative show in Chicago that same month. The group claimed that following the Chicago show it could not fly its equipment to Maui in time for the September 26 show, but a few days later the band played a private show, also in Hawaii, for employees of Toyota. Aerosmith was reportedly paid about $1 million for the Toyota show, but the band never rescheduled the canceled Maui concert.
Jay Handlin, the lead attorney representing Aerosmith, could not be reached for comment, but he was quoted recently by the Honolulu Advertiser that he and his clients “think the claims are meritless.”
Faria said her office has names and addresses for many of the 8,700-plus fans who purchased tickets for the canceled show, but she plans to advertise in newspapers to reach those who have not come forward. Fans were refunded money for the tickets, except for fees and any costs they may have encumbered for travel or hotel expenses. The plaintiffs are seeking up to about $3 million in damages.
“This class action is an ‘opt-out’ class, meaning that everyone who bought a ticket is a class member unless they ask to be excluded, so at this point, the entire 8700-plus class members are part of the lawsuit,” Faria said.