A former high-ranking employee at the House of Blues (HOB) Downtown Disney is suing the Anaheim establishment for California Labor Code violations including wrongful termination and defamation, and he's spilling what he's says are dirty secrets.
In a lawsuit filed this month in Orange County Superior Court, George James Fischer alleges that HOB and Live Nation, its owner, systematically schemed to violate laws and then targeted him, an HOB general manager, for retaliation after he complained.
Among Fischer's allegations about HOB's upper management:
--Supervisors "instructed and authorized that HOB oversell entertainment shows on a regular basis to increase revenues and profits."
--Supervisors ordered employees to "provide false documentation" to the Anaheim Fire Department regarding excessive occupancy.
--HOB officials "regularly" permitted underage drinking and marijuana smoking by minors in backstage areas during performances.
Fischer (AKA Jamie Fisher) claims that when he complained about problems he "was advised not to question such practices or risk losing his job."
In July 2010, Fischer said HOB retaliated against him by firing him without notice and refusing to pay owed wages. In his lawsuit, he claims the reason company officials gave for the dismissal--that he used HOB's liquor license to purchase booze for Johnny's Saloon, a Huntington Beach restaurant he partially owns--was bogus because it was "conduct known and authorized" by company officials.
Furthermore, Fischer claims in the suit that HOB officials have publicly stated he was fired for "stealing" and is a "thief" when, he says, they knew those descriptions were false and defamatory.
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He is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
Lawyers for HOB have not yet filed a response in court. Attempts to reach someone from HOB have so far been unsuccessful, but this post will be updated should the Weekly receive a response.
The case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge David T. McEachen in Orange County's Central Courthouse.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly