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BET sued in contract dispute

One celebrity whose 2014 marriage in Florida was widely publicized by an array of mainstream media sources is now involved in a contract dispute that may also be of interest to area residents. In a story that was released on Oct. 12, 2016, ABC News said that it has obtained a copy of a lawsuit filed by Gabrielle Union against BET Networks for breach of contract in connection with her starring role on one of its hit shows. The suit was reportedly filed on Oct. 11.

In the suit, counsel for Ms. Union claims that the producer of the popular show, "Being Mary Jane," has acted in a manner that fraudulently extends the term of her contract. BET has allegedly avoided having to pay a contractual raise to the actress and to extend its option to hire Ms. Union for a subsequent year by taping two seasons' worth of shows within a single season.

Settlement reached in "Broken City" breach of contract case

Florida residents who watched "Broken City," a 2013 movie that starred Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg and Catherine Zeta-Jones, may be interested in learning that the film's producers have settled a fraud and breach of contract case that was filed against them by the movie's financiers. Nemesis Finance filed the lawsuit in June 2016. The stars were not named as parties to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the movie's producers reportedly misrepresented the amount of debt investors were owed, leading to Nemesis allegedly losing $1.6 million. The producers reportedly did so in order to reduce the amount they would have to pay for the residual reserve deposits for the Screen Actor's Guild, resulting in the losses suffered by Nemesis.

Jenni Rivera TV series sparks breach-of-contract lawsuit

Florida music fans may be interested to learn that a planned TV series about the late singer Jenni Rivera is in jeopardy because of a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed against her former manager. The complaint was filed by Rivera's estate, Jenni Rivera Enterprises, or JRE.

According to the suit, which was filed in a Los Angeles court on Sept. 12, the former manager allegedly broke a 2013 non-disclosure agreement by providing "extensive" disclosures about Rivera to multiple individuals and entities for an unpublished book and a TV series being developed by Spanish-language network Univision. The suit claims the disclosures have "greatly harmed" JRE and Rivera's children, who have the right to control what information is made public about their mother. While Univision is not named in the suit, Latin World Entertainment Holdings and its CEO are named as co-defendants.

Author faces publisher lawsuit for breach of contract

Florida fans of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" might be interested to learn that the author of the book has been sued by his publisher for an alleged contract breach. According to Hachette, the author, Seth Grahame-Smith, signed a contract in 2010 to turn in two books with a deadline of June 2013. He received an advance of $500,000 per book.

The first was supposed to be a sequel to "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," and Grahame-Smith delivered that. He asked for two extensions on the second book. Hachette granted both and pushed the deadline back to April 1, 2016. When Grahame-Smith missed this deadline as well, the publisher sent him a letter giving him 60 days to give them either a manuscript or $500,000.

Record-breaking technology merger beset by litigation

Florida investors who follow the technology sector are likely aware that the proposed merger between EMC Corp. and Dell Inc. has been beset by difficulties. Massachusetts-based multinational EMC has faced 15 class action lawsuits linked to the proposed deal, and an Aug. 8 regulatory filing reveals that an appeal of one of these cases will be heard by the highest court in Massachusetts.

Most of this litigation has been filed by or on behalf of EMC shareholders even though the $60 billion merger has been widely supported by stockholders and was backed overwhelmingly during a shareholders' meeting in July. A filing made by the technology multinational with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that the merger will be concluded before Sept. 30. If the deal goes through as expected, it will become the largest ever technology sector merger.

Event company files lawsuit against Mohit Chauhan

Florida fans of singer Mohit Chauhan, known for his for with the India film community, may be interested in learning that he is being sued for allegedly breaching a contract with an event management company in the U.S. According to court documents, the company, ProMarcom, Inc., is suing to recover $500,000 in damages from the star.

The company claims that Chauhan signed a contract to perform in the U.S. in June 2015. After signing the contract, he then allegedly told the company he couldn't perform that month because he didn't have a band. ProMarcom claims that it was never told that he didn't have his own band until then. The company then rescheduled the concert to Sept. 2015. Chauhan again reportedly canceled, that time because one band member was suffering from dengue fever while another was having trouble getting his paperwork in order.

Charter sued by Univision shortly after merger

Many Florida residents make their cable bill check out to either Charter or Time Warner Cable. Now that the two companies have merged, the combined company delivers television to over 17 million households. The Charter-Time Warner Cable merger deal closed in May, and Charter was hit with a breach of contract lawsuit two months later. Univision sued Charter on July 8, alleging that Charter is breaching the terms of a contract covering licensing fees.

Though private contract disputes between programmers and distributers are common, it is less common to see the matters end up in court. Before the merger with Time Warner Cable, Charter had a contract with Univision to carry its channels. Charter was paying a higher price than Time Warner Cable has been paying to carry the same Univision channels, and Charter thinks that the Time Warner Cable contract should stand.

Oracle must pay $3 billion for breach of contract

Florida technology buffs may be interested to learn how a jury ruled in the contract dispute involving Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. On June 30, a spokeswoman for Oracle confirmed that a jury in California had ruled in favor of HP. The jury ordered Oracle to pay $3 billion in damages to HP for the breach.

The contract dispute concerned Oracle's support of HP's Itanium-based servers. In 2011, Oracle decided to cease the development of any new software that could be used with the Itanium-based servers because Intel had told the company that its Itanium processor was nearly obsolete. However, HP alleged that it had a contract with Oracle, and Oracle was legally required to continue supporting Itanium-based servers.

Supreme Court sides with veterans against VA

Disabled veterans who own companies based in Florida may be interested in a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Issued by a unanimous court, the ruling held that the Department of Veteran Affairs violated federal contracting laws when it did not consider a company owned by disabled veterans when it awarded a contract.

In the case, Kingdomware Technologies, Inc., sued the VA for not considering it for work on a VA medical center. The business is owned by disabled veterans, and it argued that the federal rule of two should have applied. Under federal law, the VA is supposed to go through a bidding process for contracts when two or more businesses owned by disabled veterans are able to provide the needed services at prices that are reasonable.

Roc Nation and Rita Ora reach out-of-court settlement

Florida music fans may be aware that the British singer Rita Ora has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle for more than a year with the record label she signed with in 2008. Roc Nation, which is backed by hip-hop superstar Jay Z, and the 25-year-old year singer traded accusations and lawsuits in 2015, but media reports emerging in June 2016 suggest that the two parties have decided to avoid the uncertainties of a civil trial by reaching an out-of-court settlement.

Ora fired the first legal barrage in 2015 by filing papers in California claiming that Roc Nation executives were more interested in promoting the music streaming service Tidal than nurturing her talent and promoting her career. The singer said that the contract she signed at the age of 18 violated California law and asked the court to rule it unenforceable and issue a declaratory judgement in her favor.