Live Nation Moves to Dismiss Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuit from Ex-Contractor

live nation discrimination suit
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live nation discrimination suit
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Newark, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Jimmy Woo

Live Nation has moved to dismiss a lawsuit it’s facing for allegedly cutting ties with a contractor because of its owner’s sexual orientation.

The Ticketmaster parent just recently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which the plaintiff, one Braden Maurer-Burns, had originally submitted to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County, in April of 2023.

This plaintiff’s last name is also spelled “Mauer-Burns” in the same suit; based on social-media profiles, though, “Maurer-Burns” appears correct. In any event, following a November removal notice from Live Nation, the case was moved to a federal court in the Garden State.

The initial action describes the plaintiff “as a gay man” and the owner of a business called Drag Diva, which purportedly “helped create and produce drag-related content and shows” and would “regularly contract with” Live Nation to put on these drag events.

Said events ostensibly proved “a massive commercial success” – albeit before Live Nation allegedly pulled the plug on the commercial relationship due to purported “unproven allegations of harassment and misconduct” against the plaintiff.

But as the filing party sees it, the promoter “has a history of working with performers who face similar accusations” and only axed the Drag Diva tie-up because of Maurer-Burns’ sexual orientation. The latter individual allegedly “suffered differential treatment in his contractual relationships based on his sexual orientation,” the legal text spells out.

Overall, Maurer-Burns says Live Nation’s actions amount to two violations of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination: one stemming from the promoter’s allegedly limiting “the number of LGBT businesses and content [makers] they would contract with,” the second resulting from the aforementioned alleged treatment of Maurer-Burns “differently from other contractors because of his sexual orientation.”

All told, Maurer-Burns is seeking payment “for damages; losses; emotional harm, embarrassment and upset; psychological injuries; interest; costs; equitable relief; injunctive relief; reinstatement; attorneys’ fees; costs of suit; experts’ fees; punitive damages,” and more, per the April of 2023 action.

As highlighted at the outset, Live Nation has rather predictably ripped into the suit, which it says “fails at the most fundamental level” because Maurer-Burns himself “was not and has never been a party to a contract with Live Nation.”

Additionally, the suit is allegedly barred by the relevant law’s two-year statute of limitations, as the involved contract is said to have been terminated in the final days of 2019.

“Thus, even if Mauer-Burns could somehow establish that he personally had rights under an actual or proposed contractual relationship with Live Nation, any such claim would be definitively time-barred,” the document indicates.

Independent of these claimed shortcomings, the defendant also believes that the suit should be dismissed because Live Nation isn’t alleged to have decided against contracting with the plaintiff owing to his sexual orientation or to have nixed the contract at hand for the same reason.