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New York Breach of Contract: Big Film Studios, Big Lawsuits


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1/1/2016
Jonathan Cooper
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Breach of contract claims come in all shapes and sizes. Often, those most publicized involved damages amounting to millions of dollars. However, the elements necessary to succeed on the claim remain the same. In one such recent action, film financier David Bergstein has sued Miramax investors for breach of contract over his role negotiating deals with Disney. The deals in question took place in 2010 and related to the rights to the independent studio behind The English Patient and Pulp Fiction. The cost of purchase of the independent studio amounted to $660 million dollars.

In his complaint, Mr. Bergstein alleges that he is owed tens of millions of dollars for his role in structuring and negotiating the deals. He presents claims of: 
  • fraud,
  • promissory estoppel,
  • unjust enrichment, and
  • breach of contract.

The lawsuit is based upon written agreements between the parties in question wherein Mr. Bergstein purports to have been guaranteed certain fees and an equity interest in Miramax.

Had the breach of contract action been brought under New York contract law, Mr. Bergstein would have to show that there was an enforceable agreement between the parties that the defendants breached.  Evidence that a New York business litigation attorney might investigate include:
  • the signed written agreements between the parties;
  • the specific provisions contained within the contracts;
  • facts in support of the quality of Mr. Bergstein’s performance; and
  • facts in support of any oral agreements made between the parties.

Since a valid contract may still exist even without a written agreement, an experienced New York breach of contract lawyer will evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding the claim to determine whether a binding contract did exist. 

If you entered into an agreement that was not in writing and feel that the other party is in breach, order our free guide, When You Don’t Have a Written Agreement. To learn more about New York contract law, contact a New York breach of contract attorney today at (888) 497-3410 for a consultation. 


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