Weingarten Brown LLP announced in a statement that "defendants CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Tony Awards Productions, White Cherry Entertainment, Inc. and others involved in producing the 2009 Tony Awards, where Rock Star Bret Michaels sustained life-threatening head injuries, filed a Third Party Complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against third-party Rock of Ages Broadway LLC."
Their statement continues that "Michaels was leaving the stage after performing with the Rock of Ages cast when a set piece was lowered, striking him on the head, throwing him to the ground, and resulting in a near-fatal brain hemorrhage." In their complaint, says Weingarten, "the third-party plaintiffs do not dispute the extent of Michaels’ injuries, but rather simply seek to shift the blame – denying any negligence on their part and alleging that Rock of Ages is either directly responsible for Michaels’ injuries, or must indemnify the defendants if a jury determines they were at fault."
“This is a desperate act. The producers of the Tony Awards and their co-defendants cannot credibly deny that they almost killed Bret while he was performing with the cast of Rock of Ages, so instead they are trying to point the finger elsewhere,” said Alex Weingarten, managing partner of Weingarten Brown LLP, counsel for Bret Michaels. “CBS and the rest of the defendants are just grasping at straws. It was their negligence that injured Bret, and it was then their decision to try to profit from his injuries by joking about them and playing them for ratings. We did not drag Rock of Ages into this, and Bret has nothing but the utmost respect for them, their production and the performers who were on stage and in harm’s way with him that night.”
Weingarten also notes that "After the injury, Michaels’ repeatedly attempted to resolve the matter amicably and out-of-court in an effort to avoid adding to the already substantial publicity surrounding the accident. The Tony Awards could have – but did not – take advantage of the standard broadcast delay to prevent the video from being transmitted. The incident became an Internet mainstay, and at one point was one of the 10 most-viewed clips on YouTube. The Tony Awards and its producers have yet to apologize to Michaels, let alone take responsibility for the severe injuries they caused. Instead, defendants have sought to point the blame first at Michaels himself, and now at Rock of Ages."