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Dallas Business and Commercial Law Blog

Verizon is sued for breach of contract

Texans might be interested in learning about a lawsuit that was filed against Verizon. New York City filed the suit, alleging that Verizon breached a contract it had with the city that dated to 2008.

According to the complaint, Verizon allegedly failed to provide enough fiber-optic FIOS service for all of the residents of the city to access the internet. Verizon had reportedly promised to install enough of the fiber-optic cable for every household to have access by 2014. Verizon argues that it is already able to provide the service to 2.2 million households in the city. However, there are almost a million more households in New York, meaning that a large percentage does not have access to Verizon's fiber-optic FIOS service.

Dru Hill members lose lawsuit over unpaid royalties

Music fans in Texas and around the country may be familiar with the 1990s rhythm and blues band Dru Hill. The Baltimore-based group's Top-40 hits include 'Never Make a Promise", 'How Deep is Your Love" and 'In My Bed", but the quartet's foray into civil litigation has not been as successful as their music. The band filed a lawsuit over unpaid royalties against Sony and EMI in 2015, but a federal judge in New York dismissed the case on Feb. 24.

The band says that they entered into an agreement with Red Music Publishing in 1996. The company subsequently entered into an agreement with EMI, which was acquired by Sony in 2012. The case revolves around $600,000 in Dru Hill royalties allegedly paid by EMI to 27 Red Music. The group filed an amended breach of contract lawsuit against Sony in June 2016, and it was this complaint that was dismissed in New York.

Danica Patrick's sponsor sued for breach of contract

NASCAR fans in Texas may be interested to learn that Stewart-Hass Racing is suing Nature's Bakery for breach of contract. According to SHR, Nature's Bakery pulled its sponsorship of racer Danica Patrick prematurely. Nature's Bakery previously signed a contract agreeing to sponsor Patrick for three complete racing seasons and pay Patrick $15.2 million for each season.

SHR sued Nature's Bakery in state court in North Carolina on Feb. 10. Prior to the legal action, Nature's Bakery had sent a letter stating that it was terminating its three-year endorsement deal after just one season because the company believed that Patrick had not lived up to her contractual obligations. Nature's Bakery said that Patrick violated the contract terms by endorsing a competitor, Six Star Pro Nutrition Protein Powder, and failing to provide sufficient endorsement of Nature's Bakery on social media.

Univision wants Charter to abide by previous agreement

A dispute between Univision and Charter Communications has disrupted Spanish-language programming on stations owned and operated by Univision for Charter cable subscribers in Dallas and other major markets. Univision ended its transmission of programming to Charter because Charter began paying the content provider a rate determined by its contract with Time Warner Cable, which it merged with in 2016. The Time Warner contract paid Univision a lower rate than Univision's contract directly with Charter.

Representatives for Univision insist that Charter should pay according to its existing contract with the company and not apply the pricing negotiated separately through Time Warner before its merger with Charter. Univision also maintains that Charter should not apply its new power as the country's second-largest cable television provider to reduce access to content that is linguistically and culturally appropriate for many of its customers.

Richard Carpenter sues for nonpayment of royalties

Texans who are fans of The Carpenters might be interested in learning that Richard Carpenter has filed a lawsuit against Universal Music alleging that he and his sister's estate are owed unpaid digital royalties from the label. The lawsuit was filed on Jan. 11 in Los Angeles.

According to the complaint, accountants hired by The Carpenters found numerous errors. When Richard Carpenter requested that he and Karen Carpenter's estate be paid the royalties that he alleges are owed, the label reportedly refused. He is seeking at least $2 million in compensatory damages.

Actress in contract dispute reaches settlement

Texas parties to a contract who believe another party is in breach may have legal recourse. This is exemplified in a case in which an actress filed a multi-million dollar against a television network for being in breach of a contract.

Gabrielle Union had alleged in her breach of contract lawsuit that caable network BET and the producers of her hit television show "Being Mary Jane" purposely modified the terms of their agreement with her to save on costs. The producers allegedly removed the provision that stipulated a substantial break between the 10-episode fourth and fifth seasons of the show. Union sought general damages of $3 million or more and a vow that the network would not pursue more than 13 episodes for any season of the show.

Company behind "Duck Dynasty" sues founders alleging fraud, BOC

Many Texas residents who enjoy the popular reality television series 'Duck Dynasty" may have been saddened when A&E Networks announced in November that the show's fifth season would be its last. Gurney Productions, which is the company behind 'Duck Dynasty," was sold to ITV America in 2012. On Dec. 9, ITV filed a lawsuit against Gurney Productions founders Deirdre and Scott Gurney claiming fraudulent concealment, self-dealing as well as breach of contract.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court, comes just days after the board of the production company announced that the Gurneys were taking a temporary leave of absence. It now seems clear that their departure will be a permanent one. The Gurneys are accused of setting up another television company called Snake River Productions while still employed by Gurney Productions and using their influence within the company to poach key members of its staff and siphon off lucrative business.

Selena series may be blocked from production

Texas fans of the late singer Selena may not have the ability to watch the television series about her love story with her widower that has been planned by her widower. According to court documents, Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla, has filed a lawsuit against Chris Perez, the late singer's husband.

The lawsuit was filed in order to block the production of the planned television series. Perez reportedly signed a contract with the singer's estate forever giving up any rights he might have to exploit her story in exchange for receiving 25 percent of the profits made by the estate for using her name and likeness. Perez signed the contract two months after his wife died in 1995.

Fraud claim added to ongoing lawsuit against Radar Pictures

Texas motion picture fans might be interested in learning that the producer of the movie "Snowden" has filed a fraud claim in his ongoing lawsuit against Radar Pictures for a bridge loan that was intended to fund a remake of the 1989 movie "Kickboxer." The fraud claim was filed in a motion to amend the civil complaint that was filed against Radar Pictures and Ted Field.

According to the complaint, Field allegedly made misrepresentations in order to secure the bridge loan. The plaintiffs are seeking no less than $2.25 million including punitive damages. The lawsuit concerns a $500,000 loan that was extended to Field. The plaintiffs allege that Field claimed to be the chief executive officer of Acme Kick Productions LLC in order to obtain the funds. The complaint alleges that Field admitted in a deposition that he was not the CEO of the company at the time he made the false claim.

Walgreens' failed deal with Theranos

Many Texas residents shop at Walgreens for prescription medications and other over-the-counter products. In 2010, the drug store chain signed a deal with a medical technology company called Theranos and set up 'Wellness Centers" at 40 different locations. Using Theranos technology, the wellness centers offered customers simple blood tests that only required a finger prick.

After questions were raised about the blood tests' accuracy, Walgreens severed ties with Theranos. Over the last year, Theranos has been the target of several government investigations and lawsuits. The founder of Theranos was also barred from operating a lab for two years by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Now, Walgreens and Theranos are involved in contract disputes over their defunct business deal.

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