Ultra wins lawsuit against late Alex Omes’ estate
Just before his sudden and mysterious death early last year, Miami nightlife legend Alex Omes had initiated an uphill legal battle against Ultra Music Festival. Omes sought to regain control of the festival he’d co-founded before being ousted as its president.
Yesterday, March 2, Circuit Court Judge Jennifer D. Bailey ruled in favor of Ultra, citing a lack of official employment contract or binding documentation between the late Omes and the festival’s board. The ruling means that the Omes’ estate will have no rights to the event. Bailey also noted in her ruling that Omes’ appreciation of the festival had been grossly inflated, arguing that his proposed entitlement couldn’t reasonably exceed $720,000. Bailey lambasted the original $33 million claim, made by Omes’ accountant, claiming that his evaluation of the event contained “a variety of invalid assumptions not supported by evidence.”
The Omes estate has already filed an appeal to the verdict, but has declined further comments on yesterday’s ruling.
“Ultra Enterprises Inc. is extremely pleased with the outcome of [the] trial held in November,” an Ultra spokesperson told the Miami New Times, “and hopes that the parties may now resolve what is left of the matter amicably and without further expenditure of the resources of the court or the parties.”
Omes cofounded Ultra in 1999 in Miami with his partner Russell Faibisch. As the festival morphed into a global franchise, iterations of the super party popped up in South America, Asia, Africa, and beyond. In 2012, Omes sued his former partner, claiming that despite holding more than half the company’s shares he had been elbowed out of formal control of the corporation.
According to the proceedings, Ultra’s other shareholders grew concerned as Omes used his position to grow his outside businesses. By doing so, they argued Omes was “‘diminishing the uniqueness of [the festival]’ and reducing it’s value.” Emails and testimony submitted during the trial supports Faibisch’s claims and reveals multiple fruitless attempts to refocus Omes solely on the festival. The concerns mounted, peaking in August 2010 when Ultra’s board of directors removed him as president. Omes was then paid $360,000 for his 54% stake.
On the very day his case against the festival giant was set to go to trial, Omes was found dead in his Miami loft; the circumstances surrounding his death have yet to be released. The Miami Medical Examiner’s Office has revealed that the autopsy report is still not finished more than a year after the event.
Via: Miami New Times