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. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans

    Blogs

    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?

    Blogs

    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo

    Nation

    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies

    News

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.