Company sues local restaurants

-A A +A

Accusation concerns airing of boxing pay-per-view

By Sarah Bennett

A California-based sports production company has filed lawsuits against two Hardin County Mexican restaurants, accusing them of airing a 2011 welterweight boxing match without authorization.

Lawsuits were filed last Thursday in U.S. District Court against the operators of El Camino’s Mexican Restaurant in Radcliff and El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant in Elizabethtown. The plaintiff is J&J Sports Productions Inc. in Campbell, Calif.

Specifically identified in the lawsuits were Andrea M. Caro, an officer of Puente Grande LLC, which operated El Tapatio in 2011, and Eduardo Bravo, an officer of La Espada Inc., which operated El Camino’s in 2011. Both were identified on the restaurant’s liquor licenses, according to the lawsuit.

The News-Enterprise contacted the restaurants, but representatives were unable to comment. A representative of El Camino’s said the restaurant has changed ownership since 2011.

A civil complaint represents only one side of a dispute. Defendants have 21 days to respond.

According to the complaints, the restaurants aired the nationwide telecast of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz welterweight fight Sept. 17, 2011, though they were not authorized to do so.

J&J entered agreements with businesses to display the program that required the payment of varying fees, according to complaints. The lawsuits allege the restaurants did not have any such agreement with J&J.

The production company alleges broadcasting the fight resulted in increased profits for the businesses.

Mayweather walked away from the match with the World Boxing Council Welterweight title after knocking out Ortiz in the fourth round.

Dan Rafael, a boxing writer for ESPN.com, reported Oct. 28, 2011, the match generated 1.25 million buys and $78.44 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue, which made it the second-highest grossing non-heavyweight boxing match at the time.

According to the complaint, J&J had exclusive nationwide distribution rights to the bout’s telecast, which included all undercard bouts and fight commentary.

The company is asking for a total of $170,000 in statutory damages as well as punitive and exemplary damages and all costs of the suit.

J&J also has filed lawsuits against restaurants and bars in Lexington, Mount Sterling and Richmond.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at 270-505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.