Sammy Hagar files suit against Cabo Wabo's former owner

January 27, 2009 12:22:19 AM PST
Cabo Wabo may be gone but the fight over why it closed down is just beginning. Rocker Sammy Hagar's company has filed suit, claiming mismanagement of the once promising restaurant and bar.The bright sunny Cabo Wabo sign is gone and Rocker Sammy Hagar says in these court documents the Fresno Cabo Wabo Cantina was a disaster.

Cabo Wabo creator Sammy Hagar is taking his frustration to federal court.

In a 79 page lawsuit, Hagar's company Red Head Inc. Claims the company run by Granite Park Developer Milt Barbis did not live up to a license agreement and then left employees, vendors, and lendors hanging by not paying them.

Hagar's attorneys say the suit is about principle. "This isn't about the money for Sammy it's about righting wrongs to the best that he can," said Attorney Holly Pranger.

The suit claims Barbis failed to pay royalties to Hagar and refused to provide books and records needed for auditing purposes.

The lawsuit alleges "defendant (Barbis) has diverted revenues from the Fresno Cabo Wabo Cantina to other projects being developed" by Barbis.

abc30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says he expects Barbis to file a counter suit. Capozzi said, "There's two sides to every story and in reading Milt Barbis' declaration that he's filed with the court, he's alleging that Sammy Hagar didn't meet his end of the bargain, his end of the agreement."

But Barbis claims Hagar agreed to perform two concerts and ended up only doing one and charged more than 27 thousand dollars for it. Hagar claims the check for his performance bounced along with another for royalties.

Hagar's legal team says Red Head Inc. Is not to blame for any of the problems that eventually caused the company to pull the license of the Fresno location.

"We've done nothing wrong. We're going to stand behind our claim in the papers and as more claims are made, more accusations are made, we will address them every step of the way," said Attorney Pranger.

In a recent legal filing, Barbis claims Hagar left voice mail messages with death threats if he did meet his demands.

A judge has ruled for the meantime all money related to Cabo Wabo must be separated from other business ventures while the suit moves through court.

A monetary amount has not been named. Milt Barbis and his attorney did not return our calls for comment.

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