Many people in New Jersey are familiar with the classic American television show Happy Days. What many folks in New Jersey may not be familiar with is that certain members of the cast of Happy Days have filed a breach of contract suit against the television network that aired the show in the 70s and 80s, CBS. Some former cast members claim CBS failed to pay them for merchandising sales.
Five members of the former cast of Happy Days have filed a $40 million breach of contract suit against CBS. The breach of contract suit alleges that the television network failed to pay the cast members portions of merchandise sales related to the famous sitcom based on 1950s America. Recently, the amount of damages that the cast members could receive from the lawsuit was reduced. The judge in a hearing on Wednesday ruled that the actors would not be allowed to receive punitive damages if they were successful with their suit.
The five former Happy Days actors that have sued CBS are Anson Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross, Erin Moran and Tom Bosley. Since his death, the estate of Tom Bosley has represented the deceased actor. The lawyer for the actors says the actors never received financial statements related to merchandising that included the sale of T-shirts, dolls, trading cards, lunch boxes and slot machines.
According to the complaint, the actors were supposed to be paid 5 percent from the net proceeds of merchandising if their sole images were used and 2.5 percent if images of the group were used.
Happy Days ran for 10 years from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. Trial for the case is scheduled for June 26.
Source: dailynews.com, “$40 million lawsuit filed by ‘Happy Days’ cast won’t include punitive damages,” Oct. 19, 2011