American musicians The Killers are countersuing their former manager BRADEN MERRICK over alleged incompetence that cost them millions of dollars.

According to Billboard magazine, the Human stars filed a suit in federal court in Las Vegas on Friday February 20th claiming Merrick cost them revenue through "the bungling of merchandising and promotional opportunities".

The band's legal action comes three years after Merrick sued his former employers for breach of contract, claiming they sacked him without legal justification and owed him more than $16 million (£10.9 million) in royalties.

After Merrick's suit in 2006, the Killers sought a legal petition to void their contract with their former manager, claiming he had violated Californian law by finding the band work without having a talent agent's licence.

But Merrick's lawyer Howard King said the band's attempt to end the contract was a "scheme" intended to land the quartet a "$10 million [£6.8 million] windfall".

"Once Merrick delivered fame and fortune to the band, he obviously became a financial liability with his written contracts entitling him to, among other things, 15% of the band's gross income from record sales, publishing, touring and merchandising over a four year time period," King told Billboard via e-mail.

Though the amount of damages sought by Brandon Flowers and band-mates in the new legal action is not specified, Billboard says the group are seeking "multi-million-dollar damages in missed concerts and lost touring revenues, and via the bungling of merchandising and promotional opportunities".

23/02/2009 14:10:35