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Judge temporarily blocks use of Kansas City venue’s name

Jessica Shumaker//May 15, 2020//

Judge temporarily blocks use of Kansas City venue’s name

Jessica Shumaker//May 15, 2020//

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A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction barring parties in a business dispute involving the popular Kansas City music venue CrossroadsKC @ Grinders from using the words “Crossroads,” “Crossroads KC” or “Crossroads Live” in reference to the venue.

On May 5, U.S. District Judge Roseann A. Ketchmark partially granted a motion for preliminary injunction for plaintiffs Pipeline Productions Inc., Michael Edmondson and Brett Mosiman in their suit against S&A Pizza Inc., the company that owns the Crossroads-based restaurant Grinders; its owner, Jeffrey “Stretch” Rumaner; and event productions company Mammoth Inc.

The case dates back to 2007, when Pipeline Productions Inc., Michael Edmondson and S&A Pizza Inc. formed a new company, CrossroadsKC.

The new company rented an outdoor music venue from S&A located on property owned by S&A and Rumaner. In April 2008, they entered into an operating agreement for the company.

According to the order, Brett Mosiman, working on behalf of Pipeline, managed Crossroads KC’s operations, including booking, marketing, production, security, bar operations, staffing, payroll and sponsorships.

The plaintiffs allege that for 13 years, the venue hosted about 40 to 50 shows a year, and the plaintiffs invested and loaned nearly $1 million to CrossroadsKC.

The lawsuit stems from S&A’s decision in December 2019 to terminate its lease with CrossroadsKC. The plaintiffs filed suit in February in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri against the defendants for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and tortious interference with contract, as well as Lanham Act violations.

Last month, the defendants countersued.

The plaintiffs allege that S&A and Rumaner now are seeking to partner with Mammoth to hold musical performances at the property and use CrossroadsKC’s branding and trade secrets. They also allege that the defendants could be liquidating CrossroadsKC’s assets. They filed a motion to enjoin the defendants from those actions.

Ketchmark ruled that the plaintiffs have demonstrated a threat of irreparable harm. In her order, she barred both the plaintiffs and the defendants from using the terms “Crossroads,” “Crossroads KC” or “Crossroads Live” in conjunction with the music venue, their businesses or the production of musical events until further order or final resolution of the case.

She denied the plaintiffs’ request to block S&A from use of the name “Grinders,” however, noting that S&A and Rumaner were using the name for several years before CrossroadsKC was created.

Jack McInnes of McInnes Law in Prairie Village is representing the plaintiffs. He did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Frederick H. Riesmeyer II of Seigfreid Bingham is representing S&A Pizza and Rumaner. He said the ruling is “excellent” for his client “because it permits Stretch to go forward and have events behind Grinders, unfettered.”

Riesmeyer said Pipepline Productions, in its motion for a temporary restraining order, also sought to enjoin Rumaner from using his property for events.

Earlier this year, Pipeline Productions obtained a $7.06 million jury verdict in the U.S. District Court for District of Kansas in an unrelated dispute involving a music festival in Arkansas.

The case is Pipeline Productions et al. v. S&A Pizza Inc. et al., 4:20-cv-00130.

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