Flo Rida has dodged paying roughly US$400,000 in damages to the organizers of an Australian music festival he failed to show up to.
The artist, whose real name is Tramar Dillard, was a no-show at the Fat As Butter fest in 2011, for which he’d apparently been paid his performance fee up-front.
Promoters of the show, Mothership Music, sued Dillard and his management, VIP Entertainment and Concepts, in the NSW District Court for breach of contract and damages totalling Australian $417,345 ($377,000).
With their options to serve papers limited, at best, the organizers’ legal team took the unusual step of filing a summons via Facebook — on the order of Judge Judith Gibson.
After an initial ruling in the festival’s favor, the artist challenged the decision in the NSW Court of Appeal. And on Tuesday, the appeal was upheld.
The judges declared that Facebook wasn’t an appropriate channel to serve, because there was no evidence that the artist was indeed connected to the social networking page.
“The evidence did not establish, other than by mere assertion, that the Facebook page was in fact that of Flo Rida and did not prove that a posting on it was likely to come to his attention in a timely fashion,” Justice Robert McFarlan said in his reasons for judgment.
By Lars Brandle