Chuck Norris Wants to Battle CBS, Sony Over “Walker, Texas Ranger”

INTRO: Chuck Norris is suing Sony for $30 million because they allegedly cheated him out of at least $30 million in profits from his successful series “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

 

FACTS:

On Wednesday, Norris, through his company Top Kick Productions, sued CBS and Sony Pictures. He said that the network and studio were self-dealing and not paying Norris his share of streaming video-on-demand revenue. Through Top Kick, Norris is suing for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and accounting. Even though the show has not been on the air in years, Norris said that it is continuously popular because of his fandom.

 

ISSUES:

Norris:

  • CBS breached contract and implied duty of good faith and shorted him 23% of the profits for his TV show

D:

  • No comments have been made by CBS, but presumably arguing no duty

 

LAW:

When a contracting party suffers loss due to an opposing party’s breach of the contract, the aggrieved party can sue for damages. Judicial remedies for breach of contract are either: legal or equitable.

Contracts: Equitable Remedies, Practical Law Practice Note 0-519-3197/UCC

 

Parties to an agreement cannot anticipate every conceivable problem that may arise during the course of a contractual relationship. Courts have developed the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing to address unforeseen issues that may arise. The implied duty of good faith and fair dealing enforces parties’ contractual bargains by preventing one party from engaging in conduct that frustrates the other party’s rights to the benefits of the contract. These terms are only implied if the parties would have agreed to them during the negotiation of the contract had they anticipated the issue that arose.

In commercial contracts, violations of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing occur most often when a party with a discretionary right exercises that right in bad faith. A discretionary right is one that confers decision-making power on one party, for example:

The right to accept delivery of goods.

Price-setting rights.

Termination rights.

Conditional obligations that are under the control of one party.

Most states impose an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in every contract. The duty (or covenant) proscribes acts or omissions that, although not expressly prohibited, are inconsistent with the contract’s purpose and deprive the other party of its expected benefit. Application of the implied duty therefore depends entirely on the contents and circumstances of the contract at hand.

Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Practical Law Practice Note 1-520-7165

 

DETAILED FACTS:

On Wednesday, Norris, through his company Top Kick Productions, sued CBS and Sony Pictures. He said that the network and studio were self-dealing and not paying Norris his share (23%) of streaming video-on-demand revenue. “This 23 percent profit participation has been, and will continue to be, a valuable right, because Walker has been lucrative and popular in syndication, generating over $692 million in revenue to date,” the complaint stated. “But, on information and belief, as technology improved, the Defendants focused less on marketing Walker to television stations and DVD viewers and more on promoting the show on S-VOD services, some of which they owned or co-owned.” Through Top Kick, Norris is suing for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and accounting. The lawsuit alleges CBS and Sony promoted the series through on-demand services instead of TV and DVD to avoid paying Norris his fair share. Top Kick says in the suit it is owed millions of dollars in “past and future license fees.”

Even though the show has not been on the air in years, Norris said that it is continuously popular because of his fandom.

 

OTHER FACTS :

 

ARTICLE LINKS (so we can print them out):

 

MEDIA 

 

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