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Bitter Radio Jock v. Taylor Swift: DeeJay makes statute of limitations by the seat of his pants

I remember when you sued me the first time
Saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” ’cause like
We banned you from my concerts for a month
When I said I needed space. (What?)

Radio DJ’s get good perks with their jobs- free swag, tickets to concerts and chances to meet people who are considered some of the top celebrities the world over.

In the social media age, people crave to go “viral.” They are often mean or do things to draw attention. We’ve made a celebrity out of “The Situation,” people flock in droves to watch even the “housewives” of celebrities and somehow our country has made a Presidential candidate out of Donald Trump and can’t wait to see if he calls the Queen a “babe” or a “pig.” Lawsuits are filed to draw attention, too.

What Happened?

The latest viral lawsuit was filed by a radio deejay with the on-air name of “Jackson,” but real name of David Mueller. He sued Taylor Swift, Frank Bell, Scott Borchetta, Andrea Swift, Scott Swift and some “John Does,” who represent her family and most trusted team.

“Jackson” claims he was essentially destroyed by Taylor Swift, her family and entourage. He contends he was fired from his $150,000 per year gig as a morning radio show host (on the “Ryno and Jackson Show”) on a country music station broadcast out of Denver, Colorado.

taylor-swift-lyrics-inspirational-quotes-12He claims his troubles started on June 2, 2013, he was “required” to attend a meet and greet with Taylor Swift on June 2, 2013. The horror! His lawsuit then discusses how he patiently waited in line and took a photo with her and generally describes a fairly usual cattle call “meet and greet” experience.

But, wait, there is more. He claims that after his photo was taken, his station’s program director, Eddie Haskell, bragged about getting a hug from Taylor Swift and how he put his “hands on her bottom.” I will leave the “Leave it to Beaver” jokes out, but fans of that show know Eddie Haskell was always up to something.

Later that evening, a member of Tayor Swift’s security team approached David Mueller and interrogated him. He was accused of grabbing “Swift’s bottom,” which he denied. He claims in his lawsuit that he was “verbally abused” and escorted off the property.  David Mueller’s boss was contacted that night, told there was an incident and asked to identify David Mueller from a photo. It was also explained that David Mueller was “banned for life” from Taylor Swift concerts. Fairly quickly, his station suspended him from work and told him not to appear on air the following day.

On June 3, 2013, things escalated. Apparently, Taylor Swift’s parents were upset and all parties claimed that David Mueller “lifted Ms. Swift’s shirt with his hand and grabbed her bottom.” However no charges were filed and it does not appear the Swift camp took any further action. Yet, Mr. Mueller wanted to make an even larger deal out of everything.

Corporate meetings were held and David Mueller was ultimately terminated on June 4, 2013. Mueller contends the Swift camp forced his termination.

Swift’s Side

It is brief and simple. “The radio station was given evidence immediately after the incident. They made their independent decision,” Swift’s spokeswoman Tree Paine told CNN via email.

The Lawsuit – A Less than ‘Swift’ Reaction

David Mueller sued Team Taylor for Intentional Interference with Contractual Obligations and Tortious Interference with Prospective Business Relations. Suit was filed in state court on June 1, 2015- ONE DAY before this case would have been forever barred by the Statute of Limitations. The Complaint can be read in full HERE. 

To establish tortious interference with a contract requires that: (1) the plaintiff had a contract with another party; (2) the defendant knew or should have known of such contract’s existence; (3) the defendant intentionally and improperly induced the other party to the contract not to perform the contract with the plaintiff; and (4) the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff to incur damages. See Lutfi v. Brighton Cmty. Hosp. Ass’n, 40 P.3d 51, 58 (Colo. App. 2001).

Why wait two full years? It’s got other issues, too.

img-thingWhy the Case is Suspect?

Proving interference is going to be excessively tough. We’d expect the judge could dismiss this case without much fanfare.

It is also interesting he did not sue his employer. He likely had a “morals clause” or some other aspect protecting them from issues such as this.

It is also interesting that he did not sue for defamation. Why not? Because that statute of limitations is one year.

Instead, he is suing as if Taylor Swift interfered in his contract with the radio station, thereby further promoting the bad deed he claims he did not do. Sounds like someone just can’t let it go or wants his 15 minutes of fame.