Greek Liable In Lawsuit

A Los Angeles Superior Court panel ruled Feb. 26 that Nederlander-Greek Inc. and the Greek Theatre are liable for $770,000 in restitution to a woman who sued over injuries she sustained during a “Wavefest” concert at the venue in 2005.

The judges panel deliberated several hours before finding that Nederlander and the venue had not properly trained the security guards to prevent the attack on Merridy Cress by allegedly drunk concertgoer Marsha Cooper, according to the Daily Breeze.

The total award was about $1 million for medical damages, pain and suffering. Cooper was found liable for 40 percent of the damages but is reportedly nowhere to be found, the paper said.

Cress testified she and her then-fiancé attended the concert featuring Kenny G and David Benoit in October 2005. During the show, Cooper was reportedly disruptive and annoying to those around her, causing Cress and her fiancé to walk out during Kenny G’s set.

As the fiancé urged security staff to remove Cooper, Cress said she was punched, knocked over and then kicked by Cooper after she fell down.

Cress, a cancer survivor, filed the lawsuit against Cooper and Nederlander-Greek in 2006 claiming battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, premises liability and negligence, the Breeze said.

During court proceedings, Nederlander-Greek Inc. lawyer Howard A. Slavin denied Cress’ claims of negligence and said venue management hadn’t been notified of the complaints until it was too late.

Greek Theatre GM Rena Wasserman issued the following statement in response to Pollstar’s inquiry:

“Over the course of the last 30 years, Nederlander has opened the doors of the Greek Theatre to over 8 million people who have enjoyed a night under the stars listening to wonderful music and entertainment. Our track record in the areas of patron safety and security is impeccable but as you can imagine, sometimes jury outcomes do not reflect the facts.

“We strive to make our facility safe for all concertgoers and we firmly believe that the Greek is a safe and secure place to see a performance.”