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Home / wrongful termination

Live Nation: Fraud case gets trial judge; wrongful firing settlement

A woman who had a job managing fan interaction with the Doobie Brothers has settled her suit against Live Nation Entertainment Inc., in which she alleged she was subjected to disparate treatment by a supervisor for having a friendship with a band member and then wrongfully fired in 2019.

Plaintiff Nicoletta Gacos’ attorneys filed court papers Wednesday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gail Killefer stating the case was resolved, but no terms were revealed. Gacos alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wrongful termination, negligent supervision and retention and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In their court papers, Live Nation attorneys denied any wrongdoing on the company’s part.

“In fact, Gacos never engaged in any form of legally protected activity and (Live Nation) decided not to extend her employment for legitimate, non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory reasons,” the Live Nation lawyers stated in their court papers.

Gacos was hired by the companies in early 2016 as a VIP manager and her duties included taking photos for the Doobie Brothers’ social media account and managing fan interaction, the suit filed in February 2022 stated.

In late 2017, Marc Quinones, a percussionist who had previously worked with the Allman Brothers Band, joined the Doobie Brothers for their fall tour, the suit states. Gacos and Quinones had known each other for several years prior and maintained a close friendship, according to the suit.

In the summer of 2018, David Sutherland, also known as Vid, joined the tour in a supervisorial role, the suit states. Although Gacos and Sutherland got along well at first, in April 2019 his attitude changed, the suit stated.

Quinones contacted Gacos and told her that Sutherland “had called to let him know that he knew of their past relationship and wanted assurances that it would not interfere with the tour,” the suit stated.

Gacos was surprised because her past friendship with Quinones had never adversely interfered with the tour, the suit states.

When Gacos tried to talk with Sutherland about his concerns, Sutherland allegedly said he had “been down this road before and the women are the first to go,” then added, “We will see how long you last. How is the crew treating you? You should talk to the crew since they are concerned as well.”

Gacos later found out that another woman who had worked with Sutherland when she was employed by the Allman Brothers Band — and was subsequently fired — had treated her and another woman poorly after finding out they were dating members of the band’s crew, the suit stated.

Matters worsened between Sutherland and Gacos as he intentionally focused on her in a negative way in front of crew members and once forced her to sleep on the tour bus in a truck stop because he did not arrange for her lodging, the suit stated.

“(Sutherland) made Ms. Gacos feel uncomfortable because every time he interacted with her, it became clear to Ms. Gacos that (he) was sabotaging her job duties,” the suit stated.

In August 2019, after the tour ended, the vice president of sales for VIP Nation LLC, one of the companies the plaintiff has sued, contacted Gacos about additional tour dates in the fall, the suit states. Gacos told the vice president that she turned down another job in television because of her commitments to VIP Nation and the band, the suit stated.

The vice president “thanked Ms. Gacos for staying on board and told her to go ahead and book all the flights for an end of fall tour in November,” the suit stated.

A month later, the vice president told Gacos she was fired and explained it was because band members were unhappy with her services, according to the suit. However Gacos learned that neither the band members nor their wives knew of her firing and did not say they were unhappy with her work, the suit stated.

Gacos’ termination was “substantially motivated” by her gender and because she had complained about “discriminatory and harassing conduct,” according to the suit.

Trial judge assigned to Taylor Swift fans’ case against Ticketmaster

A judge has put a temporary stay on a lawsuit brought by hundreds of Taylor Swift fans who allege that Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, committed fraud in its Eras Tour ticket presale.

The Wednesday ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III is an interim order that will expire when an initial hearing takes place before Judge Lawrence P. Riff, who Cunningham assigned to hear the case after determining it to be complex in nature. The date of the first hearing is not yet set.

An amended complaint filed Dec. 14 brings the total number of plaintiffs to about 255, compared to about 50 in the original suit brought Dec. 5. The amended suit alleges the ticketing platform monopolizes primary and secondary markets and engages in price discrimination and price fixing.

“Ticketmaster breached the contract by failing to actually provide the proper pre-sale it promised,” according to the revised complaint, which seeks $2,500 for every violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, a statute that prohibits false advertising and illegal business practices.

The various problems with the presale “led to the disaster that was the Taylor Swift The Eras tour ticket sale,” the suit states. “Ticketmaster was responsible for addressing every issue. Ticketmaster either intended for this to happen from the beginning or knew these issues were present, yet Ticketmaster intentionally made no mention of this and hid information from buyers, including plaintiffs.”

Ticketmaster has not yet filed court papers in response to the suit.

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