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When a Party Can Be Forced to Uphold Its End of a New York Contract


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1/1/2016
Jonathan Cooper
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When a party fails to honor its end of an agreement, sometimes the best possible outcome for the nonbreaching party is to compel the other party to fulfill its obligations. Under New York contract law, this is known as specific performance. Recently, the company that makes the popular Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment Inc., filed a lawsuit against musician Lady Gaga and her management company. In the complaint, MGA alleges that the singer and her management company failed to issue a final approval of the proposed Lady Gaga doll in order to delay its production and shipment. As a result, MGA asserts that it will lose out on millions of dollars in revenue by not being able to sell the dolls during the fall 2012 retail season.

In a case like the one involving MGA and Lady Gaga, perhaps forcing the defendants to fulfill their end of the bargain would be a better outcome than awarding monetary damages. The true cost of the inability to sell the dolls during arguably the busiest time of year in the retail market may be immeasurable. For a company like MGA to successfully win a request for specific performance following a breach of New York contract, it would have to demonstrate the following:

  • Specific performance is appropriate because money damages for the failure to approve the dolls on time are insufficient to protect the interests of MGA.
  • The dollar amount for the injury suffered by MGA as a result of Lady Gaga and her management company’s breach of contract in New York is difficult to determine.
  • The dollar amount is difficult to determine because the never-before-released dolls are unique or do not have an established market value.

Unfortunately for MGA, the judge overseeing the court battle between the parties has not yet granted a request that the defendants be forced to approve the doll. For more information about this and other business litigation matters, contact a New York breach of contract lawyer today. Call our office at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation. 



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