Here it is- the CLASS ACTION lawsuit from 6 former models against ALL the major agencies, and I heard a rumor Trans con talent is going to be part of it now too!!! plus, if and when these agencies go down, TCT will have nobody left to use to 'book' their models. this has a VERY good chance of going to court and being ruled in favor of the models. basically every new york agency over 20 years in existence is named...ALL THE BIG ONES- elite, ford, wilhelmina, company, they're all in here and they all could go down big time!!!
READ ALL 5 PARTS..............
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
AMANDA MASTERS, SIMON BEARDMORE, SZUZANNA BOROS, THOMAS BRADLEY, BARBARA CHEESEBOROUGH, JENNIFER CURRAN, CAROLYN FEARS, VALARIE GARDANO, DONNA GIBBS, BILL GOINS, CARLA GROSS (d/b/a SEBASTIAN CARDON), JUSTIN KLENTNER, ELEANORA MILLER, (a/k/a ELLE MILLER), VIRGINIA NELSON, ALICIA PINE, ANNE ROGAN, LORELEI SHELLIST, ANGELA SHELTON, LAURA SHOEMAKER, SHARON SIMON, TODD SNYDER, HILLARY SWAY, and MONICA WALKER, and on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons,
WILHELMINA MODEL AGENCY, INC., FORD MODELS, INC., f/k/a FORD MODEL AGENCY, GERARD W. FORD, ELITE MODEL MANAGEMENT, INC., CLICK MODEL MANAGEMENT, INC., NEXT MANAGEMENT COMPANY, THE MFME MODEL MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LTD, a/k/a COMPANY MANAGEMENT, BOSS MODELS, INC., ZOLI MANAGEMENT, INC., Q MODEL MANAGEMENT, DNA MODEL MANAGEMENT, LLC, IMAGES MANAGEMENT, IMG MODELS, INC., and MODEL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, f/k/a INTERNATIONAL MODEL MANAGERS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Defendants. Case No. 02-CV-4911 (HB)
FIRST CONSOLIDATED AMENDED
Plaintiffs, on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of all those similarly situated persons described below, by their undersigned counsel Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and Johnson & Rishwain LLP, as and for their Complaint in this action, aver as follows, with knowledge of their own actions and conduct and events occurring in their presence, and upon information and belief as to all other matters:
NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. This is a class action under federal and state law on behalf of present and former professional models who are or have been under contract to Defendants, various New York modeling agencies. As set forth in detail below, Defendants are and have for several years been engaged in an unlawful combination and conspiracy to violate federal antitrust law and state law, and have each violated state law, including by
1. conspiring to set the fees they each charge to models, and to fix other terms and conditions of the models' contracts, in violation of federal antitrust law;
2. concealing their unlawful conduct by drafting contracts purporting to characterize themselves as "managers" and disavowing any state licensing requirements while advertising themselves as "agencies" and admitting (in court documents and elsewhere) that they regularly procure employment for models for a fee, making them employment agencies as a matter of law;
3. knowingly violating state law limiting the fees that Defendants, as employment agencies, can charge; and
4. deliberately violating their fiduciary duties to their models through various other unlawful practices, such as earning undisclosed profits from third parties, billing models for phony expenses, making a profit from services required to be provided at cost, and imposing excessive charges and fees, as detailed below.
1. Defendants' violations of federal antitrust law and state law regulating employment agencies are legally distinct, but factually interwoven and mutually reinforcing. Defendants have not only conspired to fix their fees itself a per se violation of federal law they have also agreed to charge fees above what state law allows employment agencies to charge, which is also flatly unlawful; and they have worked together to affirmatively misrepresent their legal status in their dealings with Plaintiffs to whom they owe fiduciary duties of honesty and full disclosure through sham contracts and other dishonest tactics that have persisted for years.
2. There are several reasons why Defendants have been able to maintain their conspiracy for a very substantial period of time. In particular:
1. Throughout the Class Period, and continuing today, the domestic modeling agency business has been highly concentrated, both geographically (in New York City) and in terms of market share among the large agencies based in New York City;
2. Throughout the Class Period, and continuing today, there has been a strong continuity in the ownership and management of the principal defendants, including particularly Defendant Ford, which (not coincidentally) has maintained its position as a market leader while taking a leading role in Defendants' unlawful conduct; and
3. Throughout the Class Period, and continuing today, the nature of the domestic modeling agency business is such that the models are at a very large, structural disavantage in terms of bargaining power with the agencies: most models' careers are short; they are almost completely dependent on agencies to get them work; they are given form contracts, which the agencies claim are "standard" and not subject to negotiation; and they are told they will be blackballed if they complain.
1. Thus while the domestic modeling agency business now involves hundreds of millions of dollars a year in bookings, it is still largely run as an unregulated private club, dominated by a handful of agencies that are owned and run by people who have known each other a very long time. Those club members occasionally complain about each other in public, or fight over the most successful models, but long ago recognized their mutual interest in setting standard terms and rates for the vast majority of models they have under contract. Few if any other large business in modern America have been run for such a long time by such a small group of persons with the power that Defendants have to dictate terms to the thousands of clients they purport to serve.
2. Plaintiffs therefore bring this action on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of all models now or formerly employed by Defendants since the inception of Defendants' unlawful conspiracy, which began as of the early 1970's with regard to Defendants Ford and Wilhelmina, soon joined by Elite, and later joined by each of the other Defendants. Plaintiffs seek (i) damages under Section 1 of the Sherman Act in the form of treble damages for Defendants' price-fixing, (ii) damages under state law, (iii) return of the fees charged by Defendants in violation of state law, (iv) disgorgement of fees that were earned from other parties and which were not the subject of an express, knowing waiver, (v) refund of various illegal charges to the models' accounts, (vi) punitive damages, and (vii) interest and costs as allowed by law.
clifton, New Jersey
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Trans Continental Talent AKA Options Talent