Luke Combs Makes Amends With Hospitalised Fan Who Was Sued for $250,000 Over Unauthorised Merch

The court ruled Nicol Harness’ case closed over the unauthorised selling of merch, before she knew it had even opened 

Country star Luke Combs has spent the past few days correcting a serious error of his attorneys, who – unbeknownst to him – sued a fan of the singer in October for her sales of counterfeit merchandise. 

Combs, whose rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” earned him a number-two chart hit earlier this year, was shocked to discover he had won the $250,000 lawsuit against a single Florida mother early Wednesday morning. 

Nicol Harness was inspired to make Combs-branded tumblers after seeing the singer perform in Tampa in August. Bearing Combs’ name and likeness, the tumbler sold just 19 units before being taken down from Amazon, generating $380. Selling homemade tumblers and T-shirts is the sole source of income for Harness, who suffers from congestive heart failure. 

As part of a crackdown on unauthorised goods, Combs’ lawyers served Harness her lawsuit over e-mail rather than in person, a practice allowed in – and likely to be reevaluated by – the northern district of Illinois. The e-mail wound up in Harness’ spam folder and so went unseen. 

It was only when Amazon froze her $5,500 of total proceeds from the site for possible seizure that Harness realised that she had been sued. Consequently, she became unable to pay her medical bills. 

On Tuesday, a distraught Harness appeared on local TV news station WFLA to tell her story. “I just want this resolved. I didn’t mean any harm to Luke Combs. I quit selling the tumbler, I pulled it down. I just don’t understand.”

The country star is highly remorseful over the situation and Harness’ subsequent distress. “I was so apologetic in talking with her. It just makes me sick, honestly, that this would happen, especially at the holidays. I can’t imagine being in her shoes.”

Combs is now distributing the tumblers via his official website and will be donating the proceeds to Harness and her family. As well as arranging to fly her out to an upcoming concert and meet her, Combs has also removed Harness from the lawsuit and has sent her $11,000. 

By Harrison Jones