Ticketfly has prevailed in its lawsuit against former Parish owner Jason Perkins, granted a rare request for terminating sanctions after a San Francisco Superior Court judge rebuked an effort by Perkins to get out of a lawsuit over unpaid advances from Ticketfly dating back to 2014.
“We’re pleased that this has finally come to resolution with the court dismissing the case in our favor, awarding Ticketfly terminating and monetary sanctions,” a statement from Ticketfly’s owner Eventbrite reads after judge Harold Kahn ruled that Perkin’s behavior would “seriously prejudice Eventbrite at trial.”
Perkins, the former Parish owner in Oakland who quietly relocated to Israel after a string of controversies in the Bay Area, had failed to meet multiple deadlines, ignored court orders and failed to show up for a mandatory deposition in the five-year-old case. As punishment, Kahn ordered Perkins to pay more than $7,000 in legal fees to Eventbrite’s attorneys. The ruling also opens up Perkins to a default judgement that could be as much as $500,000.
Last month, Perkins finally addressed the charges that he breached his contract with Ticketfly in 2014, saying he thought his company’s beef was squashed last year when Eventbrite took over ticketing at the Parish in 2018.
Eventbrite would be the fourth company to ticket the venue in four years and Perkins said it was his understanding that the $97,000 he owned Ticketfly from an unrecouped 2014 advance (plus nearly $400,000 in lost profits) had been forgiven by Ticketfly’s new owners — a claim a representative for Eventbrite said was not true, and, as of yesterday (Feb. 28), was officially rejected by Judge Kahn.
“Ticketfly went through three years of transitioning between various entities and various owners and was ultimately sold to Eventbrite,” Perkins wrote in a sworn declaration. “The Parish Group was in discussions through these transitions with Ticketfly’s representative” Michael Moore. Perkins said he and Moore “agreed on multiple occasions that signing up with Ticketfly would mean the dismissal of this action against the New Parish.”
Eventbrite officials say a settlement was never finalized, arguing that Moore, who has worked at Ticketfly since 2011 and is now Eventbrite’s director of sales, never agreed to let Perkins off the hook for the money he owned from the 2014 contract, although he does say the two talked about the idea for about six months in 2016.
“I did discuss dismissing this lawsuit with (Perkins),” Moore writes in his own sworn declaration. “However, despite attempts to get an agreement in place, Ticketfly did not enter into an agreement with (Perkins) in 2016 or any time thereafter.”
As for the deal Eventbrite did strike in late 2018, that agreement only covered the Parish and not the other venues included in the 2014 deal like Perkin’s Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco. Moore included in his declaration a copy of the 2018 contract between Eventbrite’s Samantha Harnett and Allen Scott from Another Planet Entertainment, who became managing partner at a new LLC that now runs the Parish.
the venue over the summer. The three-year contract indicated that Parish had been paid a “sponsorship payment” for exclusivity rights, but the amount paid along with the financial terms of the agreement were blacked out.
Lawyers for Eventbrite, which bought Ticketfly in 2017, requested the court sanction Perkins for failing to properly respond to discovery requests and interrogatories about the 2014 ticketing deal. In a 49-item response to Eventbrite’s request for documents, Perkins responded to every document demand by writing that he “has performed a reasonable diligent search for documents responsive to this request” and found he “possesses none of the documents requested and has none since (Perkins) left the business six months ago and moved to Israel.”
Eventbrite attorney Nitoj P Singh called Perkin’s response to the discovery claim “woefully deceitful” and in a motion with the court accused Perkins of destroying evidence and withholding information. He also accused Perkins of trying to “shirk (his) responsibilities, and significantly obstruct Ticketfly’s ability to prosecute its claims, by selling (his) business a few months before trial.”
Judge Kahn seemed to agree with Ticketfly’s lawyers and said “there is no credible evidence” that Eventbrite had ever agreed to release Perkins from the lawsuit in exchange for a ticketing deal at the Parish and admonished Perkins for a “willful, repeated and egregious misuse of the discovery process.”