Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez, a/k/a “Daddy Yankee,” his record label, El Cartel Records Inc., his former booking agency company, Icaro Services Inc., and Icaro’s president Edgar Baldiri, were found liable for defamation and injurious falsehood in Miami federal district court.
After a three-week trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, a jury returned a unanimous verdict finding Daddy Yankee and the other defendants had defamed the Plaintiffs, Mr. Diego De Iraola and his company Five Live Entertainment. The jury found that Daddy Yankee, through his agent Edgar Baldiri, had published false and defamatory statements regarding Mr. De Iraola and Five Live Entertainment following the cancellation of a ten-concert tour which Daddy Yankee was expected to perform in Argentina in 2010. The jury repeatedly found Mr. Baldiri’s allegations that Mr. de Iraola had ”swindled” others and engaged in “crimes” were false.
Mr. De Iraola is a founder and majority shareholder of Five Live Entertainment, an event production company based in Argentina. Prior to the failed tour in 2010, Five Live had produced two successful concerts for Daddy Yankee in 2009, as well as other concerts for well-known Latin American musical artists.
Mr. De Iraola issued the following statement: “The last three years have been extremely difficult. I am so grateful to the men and women of the jury who have cleared my name, and I am excited to turn the page and resume my career in the industry I love.”
Miami Partners Peter E. Berlowe, Daniel E. Vielleville, and Associate Andrew S. Riccio of Assouline & Berlowe, P.A. represented Mr. de Iraola and Five Live Entertainment, together with Tomas Leonard, Eric Bloom and Meg Ciavarella, members of Winston & Strawn’s international arbitration practice.