Federal judge dismisses Bret Michaels' lawsuit against Syracuse concert promoter

A federal judge dismissed rock star Bret Michaels' civil suit against a Syracuse area promoter over a cancelled appearance by Michaels at the Central New York Regional Market in August 2010.

Michaels said at the time that he didn't find out the concert was cancelled until his tour bus arrived at the Regional Market on the day of the show. Bret Michaels filed a $5 million dollar lawsuit against promoter Michael Banks and his company Aloha Events LLC for breaching their contract.

In 2011, U.S. District Judge David Hurd issued a default judgment against Aloha Events and the company was ordered to pay Bret Michaels $95,000. Aloha Events also made an agreement with the New York State Attorney General to refund money to everyone who bought tickets to the cancelled show.

"Unfortunately things didn't work out but nobody goes into a business venture looking to fail," said Banks on Monday.

Michaels' attorneys then filed suit against promoter Michael Banks, asking the court to hold him personally responsible for the $95,000 judgment. Attorneys for Michaels presented written arguments to Judge Hurd saying that Banks only let Michaels' representatives know his company could not make all necessary payments just two days before the show was scheduled. In Judge Hurd's decision, he notes that Aloha Events was missed required payments due on June 11th and July 16th and "there is no question that plaintiffs were fully aware from the time of the contract signing in June 2010 that Aloha Events LLC was not paying the amounts due."

The judge also seems to dispute Bret Michaels claim that he did not know the concert was cancelled until he arrived in Syracuse. In his decision, Judge Hurd said "According to the plaintiff's own proffer, they were aware that Aloha Events LLC, through Banks, was 'attempting to secure the needed funds." Judge Hurd goes on to say "The proffered evidence can not establish bad faith of any degree. Rather, the evidence suggests Banks made every effort to obtain the funding and do whatever was necessary so that Aloha LLC could proceed with the concert in performance of its duty on the contract."

Banks said he had also been e-mailing and talking with Michaels' representatives about rescheduling the concert. "They came up fully aware there was not going to be a concert taking place that evening," said Banks.

On August 8th, Judge Hurd ordered the complaint against Banks dismissed in its entirety.

Brent Davis, one of Bret Michaels' attorneys, said he was surprised Judge Hurd did not allow lawyers to make oral arguments before making his decision. Davis called it "an extraordinary step the court took" and that "the decision is definitely susceptible to being overturned on appeal."

Davis added that there was no question Aloha Events LLC was responsible for paying the $95,000 judgment from 2011. On Monday, Banks said Aloha Events LLC has no resources and no way to pay the $95,000 judgment, but he acknowledges that Aloha Events is responsible for the $95,000 judgment from 2011. Banks represented himself in Federal Court and only found out the case against him was dismissed when the court notified him by e-mail late last week.

"It's bittersweet. I don't know if I won, I didn't lose is a better way of putting it. I'm thankful it is over," said Banks.

Banks says he has worked with the Attorney General's office, and all of the refunds have been issued.

Read the court documents