Rock group The Killers asks judge to toss former manager's claim

KEN RITTER
Associated Press

The rock group The Killers and their lawyer-manager asked a federal judge Monday to throw out a $16 million breach of contract lawsuit from the band's former manager.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, members of the band and their current manager, Las Vegas lawyer Robert Reynolds, accused former manager Braden Merrick of Los Angeles of incompetence and dishonesty.

Merrick's lawsuit, filed Feb. 21, alleges that he was fired in May, after the Las Vegas-based band became successful. The two sides had been negotiating a settlement.

In a separate action filed Friday, the band also asked the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to void any agreements between The Killers and Merrick.

A spokeswoman at the agency's San Francisco headquarters said Monday she was not immediately aware of the band's petition and did not know when a hearing would be scheduled.

Merrick's lawyer, Howard King of Los Angeles, called the Labor Standards action moot because the band's contract with Merrick, which was to have run through 2007, was in Nevada.

Although he had not seen Friday's or Monday's actions, King said they were expected.

"You gotta take your shot if you don't want to pay what you owe," he said.

Reynolds did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.

The Killers, formed in 2002, signed with Island Def Jam records and had a hit with its first release, "Hot Fuss." The Grammy-nominated band recently began recording a second album.