Colorado’s largest concert promoter has agreed to pay $10,000 to a state agency and at least $3,333 to a former employee it fired, ending a lawsuit involving a COVID-positive musician.
AEG continues to deny it violated Colorado’s Public Health Emergency Whistleblower law but agreed to a settlement “in order to avoid the cost and uncertainties of litigation,” its lawyers told a Denver District Court judge Dec. 15.
The company was sued May 27 by Brian Hendrick, who worked for AEG for 15 years, most recently as a manager at the Ogden Theatre in Denver. He was fired in January 2022, two days after criticizing AEG executives for allegedly allowing a visibly ill musician to play.
Hendrick claimed in the lawsuit that Griffin Washburn, who performs electronic indie music as Goth Babe, told his own tour staff to cancel a sold-out Ogden show on Jan. 22, 2022. But the show went on before 1,700 fans. Washburn tested positive for COVID the next day.
After he was fired, Hendrick filed a whistleblower complaint with the state, claiming he was illegally terminated for raising health concerns and demanding paid sick leave. Money troubles forced him out of his downtown apartment after the firing, he said.
AEG has denied illegally terminating Hendrick and has called his lawsuit “meritless.”
The company reached two settlements with Hendrick but only the $13,333 agreement was made public. AEG and Hendrick also settled claims that AEG violated Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act and the Colorado Wage Act. That settlement is confidential.
Hendrick was represented by attorneys Rachel Tumin and Justin Plaskov with the Denver firm Jester Gibson & Moore. They declined to comment on the settlements.
AEG was represented by attorneys Jessica Black Livingston and Tao Leung with the Denver office of Hogan Lovells, a multinational firm. They and an AEG spokesman did not respond to requests for comment about the settlements.