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Judge Rules Cohl's Stones Suit Against LN Can Proceed

MIAMI, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A Florida judge has approved a lawsuit by promoter Michael Cohl against his former employer Live Nation, resulting from dispute over who will promote the next tour by The Rolling Stones.

Live Nation had sought to have Cohl's suit dismissed, based on the fact that as of yet, the Stones apparently have no firm plans to tour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga rejected this argument in a written opinion, stating, "The mere statement by the Rolling Stones that they have no firm plans for a tour does not, at this stage in the proceedings, negate Defendants’ claim of damages."

As previously reported in CelebrityAccess, Live Nation originally filed a $5 million suit against Cohl, claiming he allegedly violated the terms of his 2008 exit from the promoter-giant. Live Nation's suit alleged that Cohl had failed to pay part of the $9.8 million he agreed to to be released from his non-compete agreement, allowing Cohl to promote upcoming Stones concerts.

Cohl counter-sued Live Nation, claiming that the promoter committed the initial breach of the agreement by attempting to interfere with Cohl's involvement with a potential Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary tour.

According to THR, the contretemps arose when The Stones started soliciting bids from potential promoters. Cohl claims that Live Nation sent him a letter in February 2010, stating that:

"This letter is formal notice, pursuant to Section 1.9(b) of the [Letter] Agreement, that Live Nation has determined, in its reasonable judgment, that you will be unable to successfully negotiate the acquisition of the rights to promote the next Rolling Stones tour.

Therefore, as provided in Section 1.9 (b) of the [Letter] Agreement, Live Nation now has the free and unfettered right to hereafter bid or seek to obtain directly the right to promote the next concert tour of the Rolling Stones, whenever that may occur, for its own account without any duty to share, co-promote or jointly pursue with Cohl any such rights that Live Nation may acquire."

Shortly after, Cohl claims another Live Nation exec contacted him to note tht the previous letter didn't preclude Cohl's rights to bid on the tour, but that any bid would require Live Nation's approval.

As of yet the band has not announced any solid plans for a 50th anniversary tour although such a tour has been widely expected. The Stones retain the title for the highest-grossing tour in history with their 2005-2007 Bigger Bang Tour, which grossed more than $558 million. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers