LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bret Michaels' lawsuit over an accident at the 2009 Tony Awards that the singer claims nearly killed him should be heard in New York where the accident happened, a federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled.
It makes more sense for the case — which stems from Michaels being hit in the head by a set piece after performing at Radio City Music Hall — to be handled by a federal court in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee wrote in a ruling Tuesday.
The Poison frontman sued CBS Broadcasting and Tony organizers in March in Los Angeles, claiming the accident contributed to a brain hemorrhage that nearly killed him. His attorneys argued the case should be heard on the West Coast since Michaels lives in Los Angeles and Arizona, as do some witnesses, including his manager and other workers.
Gee agreed with attorneys for Tony Awards Productions that much of the potential evidence and the vast majority of witnesses — including actors and production workers on the awards show — are in New York.
Michaels' attorney Alex Weingarten said the ruling doesn't impact the singer's case. "The damages are the same in New York or California," he said.
Michaels is seeking unspecified damages on claims that show organizers never explained that the set would be changing after the band performed "Nothin' But a Good Time" during the 2009 Tony Awards. The accident broke his nose, and he contends it led to the hemorrhage that later left him hospitalized and forced him to cancel several concerts.
He also claims the show could have prevented the incident from airing, but chose not to. The clip of the accident became a viral hit on the Internet, with more than 27 million views on YouTube when the case was originally filed.
Email messages to spokespersons for the Tonys were not immediately returned.