The Killers

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The Killers are making a hot fuss over their former manager.

Three years after being sued for breach of contract, the Las Vegas-based band has filed a countersuit against Braden Merrick, accusing him of crossing them when the group took off in 2005.

"Merrick was an incompetent manager who abandoned his a critical juncture of their careers," states the suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Vegas, which alleges Merrick was on Island Def Jam Records' payroll while he was managing the Killers.

Bert Deixler, an attorney for the Sam's Town rockers, noted in the suit that California's state Labor Commission found in December that Merrick had "impermissibly engaged in unlawful procurement" while under contract to the band.

The Killers, who are coheadlining this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, are seeking unspecified damages and a ruling that Merrick's management company has no right to any of their profits.

Merrick's legal camp has vowed to appeal the commission's findings. He sued Brandon Flowers and his mates for at least $16 million in 2006, claiming they fired him while he was still under contract just as they made it big with "Mr. Brightside" and other hits.

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