A judge issued a tentative ruling Tuesday in which he said he is inclined to dismiss a comic/impressionist’s claim for punitive damages against the employer of a radio personality who allegedly punched the plaintiff repeatedly during a live video podcast in April.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Benny Osorio is scheduled to hear arguments from attorneys for Aries Spears and Bayman Productions on Wednesday before handing down a final ruling.
Bayman produces the podcast “The Corey Holcomb 5150 Show.” Spears says that near the end of a two-hour appearance on Holcomb’s podcast aired from a Van Nuys studio on April 12, the show’s co-host, Alonzo Williams, threatened him, then started hitting him in the face and head with a fist.
Spears says he did not fight back and tried to protect himself with his arms about his head.
Holcomb, the show’s host, did not come to Spears’ aid, the suit states. Williams and the show are co-defendants with Bayman Productions in the suit filed June 5, but Holcomb is not named individually.
In his ruling, the judge found that Bayman cannot be held liable for punitive damages because there is no evidence that Williams’ conduct toward Spears was done for the benefit of the company or that the firm had prior knowledge of Williams’ “unfitness” for the job.
“The allegations do not present sufficient facts that Bayman acted with malice, oppression or fraud other than to make conclusory allegations that Bayman is Williams’ employer …,” Osorio wrote. “These allegations are conclusory and fail to show specific facts that Bayman is liable for punitive damages.”
Spears was a member of the comedy television show, “MadTV.”
Williams is a former music executive who calls himself “The Hip Hop Dr. Phil” on his website.
Spears alleges he suffered injuries to his face, neck, and left wrist and that he had to cancel four scheduled appearances in Ohio.
–City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: