Lawsuit Roundup: NY Models File $20 Mil Class Action Lawsuit Against Agents

Models Sue Top Agencies for $20M

MANHATTAN (CN) – Professional models sued top modeling and ad agencies and cosmetics firms in a $20 million class action, claiming the defendants continue to profit from models’ work after their contracts expire.

Raske says the agencies typically demand 20 percent booking fees. “These agreements contain industry wide terms and are commonly for a period of three years,” the complaint states.

She claims that the dozens of defendant agencies “commonly, without the knowledge of the models and or without legal authority or permission, either forge the models’ signatures and/or execute documents as if the modeling agencies had contacted the models and had the legal authority to execute the documents.”

She claims the agencies do not disclose “statements/breakdowns to the models.”

“Since the models are unaware of the extended/expanded usages for which the modeling agencies have negotiated and received payment on their behalf, unless the models somehow fortuitously discover the use of their image on a product or in an advertisement, the models never demand or receive payment and at the very least, the modeling agencies are unjustly enriched by the models’ funds,” the complaint states.

Raske claims that when other models voiced similar claims in Fears v. Wilhelmina Model Agency, the agencies “attempted to threaten and intimidate” them into dropping their claims. “The models were told by the modeling agencies that any models that participated in the class action would be ‘blackballed’ and would ‘never again model in New York,'” according to the complaint.

Read more at Courthouse News ->

Strip Club Fees Aren’t Tax Exempt, Court Says

(CN) – Strip club dances are not “cultural and artistic” enough to qualify for a state tax break, New York’s high court ruled.
The New York Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 that the admission fees and private dance fees of Nite Moves, an adult “juice bar” in Latham, are not tax exempt. State law allows New York to tax admission fees to “any place of amusement,” including sporting events, zoos and ice shows, but grants an exception for “dramatic or musical arts performances.”

Nite Moves owner New Loudon Corp. argued that its exotic stage and private dances qualify as musical arts performances under this exemption. But the appellate majority disagreed, upholding the Tax Appeals Tribunal’s ruling against the strip club.

Read more at Courthouse News ->

Strippers Win $13 Million Class Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A federal judge approved a $12.9 million class settlement for exotic dancers who claimed strip clubs denied them benefits by calling them independent contractors.

More than a dozen dancers settled the 3-year-old class action with several operators of adult entertainment clubs. Among other abuses, the dancers claimed that clubs helped themselves to more than half their tips, penalized them for not selling enough drinks to customers, and made them pay stage fees. Defendants included the Spearmint Rhino.

Under the terms of the settlement, the clubs will treat dancers as either employees, partners or shareholders in their businesses, and in California, dancers will no longer have to cough up pay-to-perform fees.

Read more at Courthouse News ->



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