Judge Sides With Bun E. Carlos in Latest Round of Cheap Trick Lawsuit
Cheap Trick's efforts to convince a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against the band by exiled drummer Bun E. Carlos have failed.
The Cook County Record (via BraveWords) reports that U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow has sided with Carlos (a.k.a. Brad Carlson) in the latest round of legal drama between the two sides, rejecting Cheap Trick's motions to dismiss his claims of "breach of contract, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, false advertising, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty" -- all incurred, according to the lawsuit, after the band improperly removed him as a director of the band's corporations following his ouster as their touring drummer in 2010.
Cheap Trick's motions seemed to hinge on a bit of legal hair-splitting, including an argument that Carlos' claim failed to sufficiently specify which agreements they violated and which of the group's corporations he was actually suing, but Judge Dow wasn't having any of it, ruling that the band members "unambiguously" signed the agreement in question and that Carlos "explicitly alleged" his complaints. A status hearing, in which the judge conducts an informal discussion between the two sides, is scheduled for December.
As previously reported, Carlos was replaced as Cheap Trick's touring drummer by guitarist Rick Nielsen's son Daxx in 2010, but in a statement announcing the switch, the group insisted that "Bun E. remains a band member," and as late as 2012, Carlos said he still considered himself part of the lineup, saying, "I'm still in the band, but I don't tour. I don't hear from them. I prefer to be out on the road performing with them. Maybe we'll kiss and make up."
It's just the latest legal setback for Cheap Trick, who earlier tried to counter-sue Carlos in Delaware, only to have the judge dismiss the suit and direct the group to settle its differences in Illinois. They're also being sued by former manager David Frey, whose 2012 firing is one of many points of contention between Carlos and his former partners, and suing the Ottawa Bluesfest for damages stemming from the stage collapse that occurred during their performance at the 2011 edition of the festival.