Report: RUSH Lawsuit Alleges LIFESON's Arrest Hurt Full Band

Chris W. Colby of the Naples Daily News has issued the following report:

With all three members of the world-famous rock group RUSH now suing members of the Collier County Sheriff's Office and the hotel where their guitarist was hurt, the legal battle that began after a New Year's Eve 2003 party continues.

RUSH founder Alex Zivojinovich, known onstage as Alex Lifeson, his son Justin and daughter-in-law Michelle were given permission to add bandmates Neil Peart and Geddy Lee to their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers.

The multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleges the band suffered financial damages because of Alex Zivojinovich's injuries, arrest and criminal case.

Zivojinovich's nose was broken by one of the deputies, and he was zapped with a stun gun several times. After his arrest, state prosecutors charged him with two felony counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.

The altercation happened after his son, Justin, was asked to leave the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Justin was reported by security agents as drunk, and he had jumped onstage to sing where the house band had just performed. He was asked to leave but resisted, and deputies were called to force his removal from the hotel.

A struggle followed, in which Justin also was battered, according to his lawsuit. His father was hurt after trying to intercede, according to court papers.

Alex Zivojinovich's injuries and criminal charges cost the band a lot of time in the recording studio. It interrupted part of its 30th anniversary world tour. And the pending case hindered his international travel, even though he was out of jail on bond and was allowed to leave the country.

"Basically what we're talking about is a very unique organization,” Naples attorney Michael McDonnell said of his clients, not only the band but its corporations. “They're up there with THE BEATLES and the STONES, and because it's a unique organization you can't just replace one of the members."

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