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Former manager sues the Killers

Braden Merrick seeks $16 million for alleged breach of contract
/ Source: The Associated Press

The former manager of the rock group The Killers has filed a federal lawsuit against the band members and their lawyer, seeking $16 million for what he calls breach of contract.

Braden Merrick of Los Angeles alleges in the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that he was fired last May, once the Las Vegas-based band gained success.

“As soon as he made them superstars they decided to stop paying him,” Howard King, Merrick’s Los Angeles lawyer, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “He’s entitled to a percentage of their income for his services as a manager and a producer.”

Merrick’s contract was to have run through 2007, his lawyer said. The two sides had been negotiating a settlement before the lawsuit was filed.

The band’s lawyer, Robert Reynolds, said he and band members Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci Jr., Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer were surprised by the lawsuit.

“The only statement the band would like to make at this time is that the claims alleged by Mr. Merrick are absolutely meritless and we intend to defend this action vigorously,” Reynolds said.

The one-time garage band, formed in 2002, signed with Island Def Jam Records and had a hit with its first release “Hot Fuss.” It sold more than 6 million copies, according to the lawsuit. The Grammy-nominated band recently began recording a second album.