Jury awards Loufest supplier $875,000 in music festival organizer lawsuit | Local business

ST. LOUIS – A grand jury on Friday awarded $875,000 in punitive damages to a supplier for a St. Louis ceased to exist after organizers accused him of vandalism.

Howard “Chip” Self, owner of Valley Park-based Logic Light and Sound Systems, pulled out of the LouFest outdoor music festival in the summer of 2018. LouFest sued him in 2019. He protested later that year.

“It’s a relief that this is no longer the case,” Self said Friday.

LouFest, the Forest Park music festival, started in 2010. But in September 2018, just days before it started, several sponsors and vendors, including Logic Systems, withdrew and Organizers have canceled the event.

In early 2019, festival organizers filed a lawsuit accusing Self and his company of sabotaging the event by exaggerating LouFest’s financial problems in comments to the press. Self’s ultimate goal, the lawsuit claims, is to start her own carnival. Self’s attorneys argue that there is no evidence of such a conspiracy.

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LouFest dismissed the lawsuit three months later, and in November 2019, Logic Systems filed a lawsuit against LouFest and its producer, Listen Live Entertainment, along with organizer Michael Van Hee, for defamation and prosecution. malice. That lawsuit argues that LouFest’s original lawsuit damaged the reputation Self had built over 30 years in the sound and lighting business.

In court this week, attorney Thomas Magee argued that Logic Systems and Self were likely to lose great business because a simple online search would turn up articles about LouFest’s original lawsuit.

Magee said in the conclusion.

But Michael Griffith, the attorney representing LouFest, said Self’s comments to the Post-Dispatch days before the festival were the turning point that led to its demise.

“If you don’t have sound, if you don’t have light, you don’t have a festival,” Griffith told the court. “(Self) does not need to speak to the press. He might just walk away and not get the job done. “

Magee said Self isn’t the only one complaining about not being paid and being unfairly punished for a problem he didn’t create.

“You can’t sue someone for telling the truth,” Magee said.

Magee asked the jury to award $2 million to Logic Systems and $2 million for Self’s damages.

After about four hours of deliberation, the jury awarded $800,000 to Logic Systems and $75,000 to Self.

Magee called the verdict a “vindication.”

“Most importantly, the jury said that the Logic System did nothing wrong and that the Logic System was not part of a giant conspiracy to take over LouFest,” he said.

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