LOS ANGELES – An entertainment management and marketing company is suing the rock band Breaking Benjamin, alleging its members have refused to pay commissions owed under a 2019 verbal contract despite reaping the financial benefits of the association with the firm.
Tenth Street Entertainment, which also represents such groups as Motley Crue, Five Finger Death Punch and Papa Roach, brought the complaint Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The company seeks unspecified damages. Breaking Benjamin frontman Benjamin Burnley also is named as a defendant.
A Breaking Benjamin representative could not be immediately reached..
Breaking Benjamin and Tenth Street reached a verbal agreement in September 2019 in which the company agreed to provide management services to Breaking Benjamin in return for commissions through the end of a tour agreement between Live Nation and BB Touring, a firm connected with the band, according to the suit.
Tenth Street usually seeks a 15% commission for its services, but the parties agreed to a reduced level of 10% of all gross compensation earned, credited or received in connection with any services rendered, the suit states.
Among other things, Tenth Street conducted extensive negotiations for a touring agreement between Live Nation and Breaking Benjamin, which was highly lucrative for the band and included 150 concert performances for $23.5 million, according to the suit.
“Because of Tenth Street’s hard work, expertise and diligence in rendering its management services, Breaking Benjamin’s touring revenue almost tripled,” the suit states.
Breaking Benjamin’s revenue per show went up from about $50,000 before the contract with Tenth Street to $135,000 afterward, the suit states.
But despite the time and effort Tenth Street devoted to the band, the group has refused to pay what it owes the plaintiff, including commissions due for the Blue Ridge Rock festival, which fell under the Live Nation deal that Tenth Street negotiated for BB Touring, the suit alleges.
Prior to hiring Tenth Street, Breaking Benjamin tried to cheat another manager out of commission as well, according to the suit. The band members have become increasingly difficult to work with and nonresponsive, damaging Tenth Street’s credibility and image in the industry, the suit states.
Tenth Street spent significant time and money getting merchandising deal offers for Burnley, but after the offers were shown to him, he ignored them, the suit alleges.
In addition, Tenth Street negotiated at least two record deals for Breaking Benjamin, but 10th Street later learned that Breaking Benjamin and others had talks with the record labels without Tenth Street’s knowledge or involvement, the suit alleges.
“This was clearly another ploy by defendants to reap the benefits of Tenth Street’s hard work without paying for it,” the suit states “It also made it difficult, almost impossible, for Tenth Street to render adequate management services for (the band) because (its members) walled them off of critical strategic discussions about the band’s future and goals,” the suit states.
The parties agreed to end their agreement last July 6, when the band said it would pay any commissions owed, the suit states.
Less than two weeks later, Tenth Street sent letters to Breaking Benjamin demanding payment of commissions owed, but the band members have refused to pay, according to the suit.