Marcel Avram sued for breach of contract.

Michael Jackson filed a lawsuit yesterday (Oct. 3) against a concert promoter to prevent arbitration over a disputed 1999 concert contract. Jackson and his company, MJ Company, sued concert promoter Marcel Avram and his German-based company for breach of contract, according to court papers. The lawsuit also seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent Avram from proceeding with arbitration.

Jackson in November 2002 testified in a $21 million lawsuit brought against him by Avram, who accused the entertainer of backing out of two concerts on New Year's Eve 1999. A Santa Barbara County jury in March 2003 ruled that Jackson must pay Avram $5.3 million.

Both parties reached a settlement agreement in 2003 that resolved existing and future claims related to the concerts, court papers said. Disputes regarding the settlement were to be resolved in Superior Court as a part of the settlement agreement, but Avram has moved forward with arbitration, according to the lawsuit.

An arbitration hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 24.

Jackson is seeking an injunction to prevent any alternative forms of dispute resolution. Jackson attorney Michael Bruce Abelson did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment about the case.

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