MUSIC

Cheap Trick Files Million-Dollar Lawsuit Against Ottawa Bluesfest

07/09/2013 12:53 EDT | Updated 09/08/2013 05:12 EDT
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Lawyers representing rock group Cheap Trick have filed a million-dollar lawsuit against Ottawa Bluesfest because of the 2011 stage collapse.

In a statement of claim dated July 4, Cheap Trick Touring Inc. named the festival, stage company Groupe Berger and Project X Productions as defendants, along with a Bluesfest and Groupe Berger staffer.

They claim Bluesfest breached their contract by not providing a safe place to play on July 17, 2011, neglecting to properly evaluate the risks or monitor the weather before a 117 kilometre per hour gust of wind toppled the stage, injuring three people.

The statement of claim also said Bluesfest failed to make sure the stage followed the Ontario Building Code, didn’t suitably respond to the bad weather and put economic considerations above safety.

After high winds struck July 8, 2011, the lawsuit alleges different ties were used to re-secure the wind walls, ones that couldn’t be cut with knives like the old ones.

It goes on to say stagehands weren’t told of the change so they couldn’t properly release the wind walls.

$400K would go towards equipment

Groupe Berger is alleged to have failed to properly maintain its stage and not warned Cheap Trick about the dangers of using it.

Project X Productions is named because they allegedly didn’t inform Cheap Trick of the dangers around their audio and lighting equipment.

Cheap Trick is suing for $400,000 for “repair and replacement of Cheap Trick Touring’s equipment, which includes guitars, amplifiers and drums.”

The other $600,000 is for “special damages, which includes interim replacement equipment, labour, travel and services.”

Bluesfest is also facing a $100,000 lawsuit from Cheap Trick truck driver Sandy Sanderson, who said a stage fixture hit him while he was loading equipment.

Groupe Berger is also named in that lawsuit.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

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