If a touring musician was fired at the last minute for no reason, is there any legal recourse?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a touring musician was fired at the last minute for no reason, is there any legal recourse?

I was hired verbally to go on tour in the UK for 30 days. We were told we weren’t going to be accompanying the band 1wk before departure. We have paid for expedited passports that we no longer need. I am the Musical Director again no official contract and the artist on atlantic records and

his management asked me to hire 2 other musicians. I did, one of whom cancelled his last semester of college which he now has to pay for and the other missed out on a month of booking gigs and work. Do I have any legal recourse here?

Asked on November 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You and the two musicians you hired can sue Atlantic Records based on promissory estoppel.  Promissory estoppel means that although there wasn't any official contract, the promises made by Atlantic Records for the UK tour are binding and enforceable as though there were a contract because you and the musicians detrimentally relied on the promise of a UK tour.  You and the musicians detrimentally relied (bought expedited passports, cancelled last semester of college, missed a month of booking gigs and work). Atlantic Records should have reasonably expected to induce those actions  and therefore to avoid injustice, the promise of a UK tour was binding and enforceable. 
Therefore, you and the two musicians can sue Atlantic Records for damages (monetary compensation) for not being allowed to accompany the band on the UK tour.

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