The company that stages an annual high-end party called the Black and White Affair sued the city-parish Wednesday over the sudden cancellation of the 2015 event, which was to be hosted by Baton Rouge native and rap artist Torrance “Boosie Badazz” Hatch at the downtown River Center.
The city-parish last year cited unspecified security concerns in pulling the plug on the scheduled July 18, 2015, event just three days before it was to take place.
In a breach of contract lawsuit filed in the 19th Judicial District Court, Perfect 10 Productions LLC and owner Terral Jackson Jr. say Hatch has performed numerous times in Baton Rouge “without incident.”
Some 1,600 tickets had been sold for the 2015 event before it was canceled. Capacity for the event was 2,400. Jackson claims in the suit that the cancellation of the event cost him more than $50,000.
“You can’t sign a contract with a reputable vendor for a major event and then breach it on the eve of the event. If you do, you're going to pay a lot of money to make it right,” Chris Alexander, one of the lawyers representing Jackson and Perfect 10 Productions, said after the suit was filed. Jennifer Aycock Motlow also represents them.
“The City needs to make this right by Terral and really also owes a public apology to the thousands of African-American citizens and vendors who invest in this great event each year,” Alexander added. “They deserved much better.”
Parish Attorney Lea Anne Batson said she could not comment on the lawsuit.
The suit, which was assigned to state District Judge Don Johnson, also names the River Center’s private management company, SMG, as a defendant.
Michael Day, general manager of the River Center, also had no comment on the suit.
“SMG gave little explanation as to why the event was canceled except to say that there were concerns regarding public safety due to the inclusion of Lil Boosie ... as the ‘talent’ for the event,” the suit states.
Jackson offered to cancel Hatch’s appearance at the event, but the offer was rejected, the suit adds.
Jackson contacted other venues to try to relocate the event “to no avail,” the suit says.
The River Center has housed the popular Black & White Affair in the past, as have the now-closed Camelot Club, the Atrium at the Belle of Baton Rouge, and the Renaissance Hotel on Bluebonnet Boulevard.
Hatch, who formerly went by the name “Lil Boosie,” was acquitted in 2012 in Baton Rouge of orchestrating an alleged murder-for-hire scheme in 2009. He was paroled from the Louisiana State Penitentiary in March 2014 after serving more than four years in state custody for various drug-related offenses.
Hatch performed without incident at Southern University in July 2014.
An East Baton Rouge Parish jury accused him in 2010 of paying then-teenager Michael “Marlo Mike” Louding to kill Terry Boyd in 2009. Boyd was shot to death as he sat on a sofa in his Vermillion Drive home. Louding told investigators he was paid $2,800 by Hatch to kill Boyd, but Louding recanted that story at Hatch’s trial.
An anonymous jury acquitted Hatch on a first-degree murder charge, but Louding was convicted at his own trial in 2013 in the Boyd slaying and sentenced to life in prison without benefit of parole.