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Motley Crue sues manager over image

Reality television shows have been known to make instant millionaires out of ordinary people, but heavy metal band Motley Crue says two such shows featuring drummer Tommy Lee have cost the band millions in lost earnings and diminished brand value.

In a lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, the '80s rockers sued Carl Stubner, one of the band's three managers, and companies associated with Mr. Stubner that include Sanctuary Group P.L.C.

The suit alleges Mr. Stubner breached his fiduciary duties by "causing" Mr. Lee, whom Mr. Stubner also manages, to engage in reality TV projects that "were bad career moves" that ultimately harmed the band, its brand and Mr. Lee's own image to the tune of at least $20 million.

Specifically, the complaint says the August 2005 "Tommy Lee Goes to College," in which Mr. Lee attended the University of Nebraska as a college freshman, was a "critical disappointment and a ratings disaster." The show, the suit says, "disparaged Motley Crue and Lee's reputation, painting Lee as incoherent, lazy and incompetent."

In addition, the 2006 "Rock Star: Supernova," in which aspiring singers competed to become the lead vocalist of rock group Supernova, also had "lackluster" ratings and "tarnished" the image of Mr. Lee and the Motley Crue brand, the complaint says. "The show diminished the public's interest in Lee and their overall perception of his musical talents."

These shows, the suit says, were part of a "self-serving scheme" by Mr. Stubner to promote Mr. Lee's solo activities to the detriment of the band because Mr. Stubner earns more commissions from Mr. Lee than the band.

The suit alleges Mr. Stubner refused to make Mr. Lee available on an exclusive basis for Motley Crue's 2005 reunion tour, causing the band to do fewer shows than it could have performed.

In 2006, the band had to cancel about 40 concerts due to Mr. Lee's unavailability while filming "Rock Star: Supernova." Mr. Stubner has refused to commit Mr. Lee to 2007 tour dates and has not made him available to record a new album, the suit says.

Glass-eating couple cited with health care fraud

The wife of an insurance scam suspect who is scheduled to appear in Boston federal court today has remained on the lam for more than a year despite being sought by the FBI.

From August 1997 through June 2005, a Massachusetts couple with a long list of aliases repeatedly ate glass and withstood internal bleeding to further insurance scams, the FBI charges.

Ronald Evano and Mary Evano filed claims against restaurants, hotel bars, and supermarkets in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland and the District of Columbia, the FBI said.

The couple claimed, under a variety of identities, that the waffles, Chinese food and frozen daiquiris they consumed contained glass particles. They even visited hospital emergency rooms to prove that they indeed suffered internal bleeding from glass particles.

The problem is that the glass they ingested didn't come from the businesses from which they sought insurance money, the FBI said. The scams netted them more $200,000 from insurers, according to the FBI and the couple allegedly skipped out on more than $100,000 in medical bills.

The FBI arrested Mr. Evano in April 2006 and is still searching for Ms. Evano. The couple has been indicted for various crimes including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity fraud, Social Security and health care fraud.

'Sicko' rally proposes prescription for change

Health insurers accustomed to hearing their industry disparaged and their profits questioned can add luminary author Studs Terkel and muckraking filmmaker Michael Moore to the list of characters taking their shots.

"The insurance industry, when it comes to health insurance, is a racket," Mr. Moore last week told a cheering Chicago crowd, which he said included nurses and doctors. "There is no room for profit when we're talking about people's lives."

Mr. Moore's comments came during a nationwide tour to promote "Sicko," his new film that takes issue with the health care industry. Mr. Terkel, 95 years old and noted for radio performances and penning American oral history books, introduced Mr. Moore before the crowd marched to the BlueCross BlueShield Assn.'s headquarters in Chicago.

The filmmaker, whose credits include "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11," said everyone should have lifelong health care coverage. He also said pharmaceutical company profits should be regulated like utility companies, and for-profit health insurers should be abolished.

Many critics have proposed similar ideas over the decades. But like Mr. Moore, few have actually tried overhauling an entire health care system.

It's got to be little harder than making a film.

Record mix-up a pain in neck

A case of mistaken identity nearly cost one injured worker her benefits.

The Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission consulted the wrong patient's medical record when it denied an injured bakery employee disability benefits, the state's Court of Appeals ruled last week.

The error left "this court to speculate concerning what evidence the commission intended to rely on when making its decision," Judge Josephine Linker Hart wrote for the three-judge panel, which reversed the workers comp board decision and remanded the case for reconsideration.

Diana Vaughan reported pain in her neck, right shoulder and right arm after ending a shift at a Pine Bluff, Ark., bakery on Sept. 17, 1997. The workers comp board ruled she was not eligible for temporary total disability compensation past June 15, 2005.

But the decision was based on another person's medical information, the appeals court said. The court said a letter from Ms. Vaughan's lawyer, which was included with medical documentation, informed the defendants that the additional medical information was about a different client treated by the same doctor as Ms. Vaughan.

It was the other client's record, which stated that the patient's healing period ended June 15, 2005, that the workers comp board relied on in making its decision, the court ruled.

Contributing: Roberto Ceniceros, Sally Roberts, Beth Murtagh