Aerosmith’s Class Action Blues

A lawsuit filed against Aerosmith over a canceled Hawaii gig has been granted class action status, meaning up to 8,700 fans could recover not only ticket prices, which were refunded, but out-of-pocket expenses such as hotels, travel and lost work time.

A group of would-be concertgoers sued Aerosmith in October after claiming the band canceled a sold-out September 26 show at Maui’s War Memorial Stadium in order to accept a more lucrative private corporate gig, according to the Maui News.

The band rescheduled a Chicago show just two days before the Maui show when Steven Tyler became ill in 2007. It then announced a corporate gig for Toyota car dealers in Oahu for September 29, three days after the Maui gig, according to the lawsuit. Many Maui customers felt slighted that the band canceled because it couldn’t move equipment from Chicago on time but made the Toyota gig.

The granting of class action status increases the potential damages Aerosmith and other defendants would have to pay if they lose the case.

Honolulu attorney Brandee Fario, who filed the suit on behalf of the fans, said that under state statute, the plaintiffs are eligible for treble damages for out-of-pocket costs or $1,000, whichever is greater.

The lawsuit claims the cancellations cost ticket buyers as a group between $500,000 and $3 million.

Aerosmith attorney Jay Handling has called the claims “meritless” and asked Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza, who granted the class action, to dismiss the case.