Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lawsuit accuses Ruth Eckerd Hall of unfair business practices

TREASURE ISLAND — Two of the area's biggest music promoters will be squaring off in court.

Music promoter Bill Edwards filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court against Ruth Eckerd Hall, accusing the Clearwater concert hall of unfair business practices.

Bill Edwards Presents Inc. is seeking more than $1 million in damages and also alleges defamation and tortious interference.

A spokeswoman for Ruth Eckerd Hall did not return phone messages for comment Tuesday night.

Specifically, the suit alleges Ruth Eckerd Hall booked two entertainers who subsequently canceled previously scheduled appearances at the Club at Treasure Island, which Bill Edwards Presents operates.

The lawsuit says actor and singer Danny Aiello and comedian Louie Anderson both canceled performances at the Club at Treasure Island. Officials at the club later uncovered evidence showing that Ruth Eckerd Hall had communicated with representatives for the entertainers, according to a news release announcing the suit Tuesday night.

It was unclear how the communications were uncovered or what might have been said in them. Attorneys for Bill Edwards Presents, Inc., could not be reached late Tuesday for comment.

Bill Edwards, the local mortgage magnate and president of the company, described the alleged tactics as "bullying," and had his attorneys reach out to Ruth Eckerd Hall's board of directors, the release states.

"It was so disheartening to discover that this was taking place," the news release quoted Edwards as saying.

The company then received a legal notice from Ruth Eckerd Hall ordering them to "preserve evidence" related to the Mahaffey Theatre.

Ruth Eckerd and Edwards' company Big 3 Entertainment both were in the running for the contract to manage St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater. City leaders decided to go with Edwards in April 2011.

"The Mahaffey isn't even part of this action," Edwards said in the release. "I guess they're trying to undermine all the good work we are doing. I won't let that happen."

Edwards also bought the city's troubled BayWalk shopping plaza, which he is redeveloping as the Shops at St. Pete.

Lawsuit accuses Ruth Eckerd Hall of unfair business practices 08/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]