LN Takes Cohl To Court

Michael Cohl’s plate is already full as producer of the troubled “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” but he just got served a second helping with news that Live Nation has filed a more than $5 million breach of contract lawsuit against him.

Live Nation filed suit against Cohl and his S2BN Entertainment in U.S. District Court in Miami Oct. 18, alleging the former chairman of the board has failed to meet the obligations of a non-compete agreement.

Cohl joined Live Nation in October 2007 to head up what was then the company’s newest division – Artist Nation. Under his stewardship, the division courted top artists for 360 deals, inking hundreds of millions in contracts with Madonna and Jay Z.

However, after Cohl was named chairman in February 2008, he found himself at odds with CEO Michael Rapino and the rest of the board over the company’s direction. Cohl pushed for more 360 deals whereas Rapino was reportedly hesitant.

He left the board in June 2008. According to LN’s suit, he agreed later that year to pay the company $9.85 million over a two-year period in order to be released from portions of what was originally a four-year non-compete.

According to court documents, the payments afforded Cohl the right to promote Broadway shows, exhibition events and family events, as well as tours by The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Genesis and a presumably non-Roger Waters Pink Floyd.

But LN claims Cohl hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain, defaulting on $5.35 million in payments. The company is seeking the overdue funds plus interest and attorneys’ fees.

A representative for Cohl told the New York Times he plans to file a response in court.