Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hollywood Fantasy Corporation v. Gabor case brief

Hollywood Fantasy Corporation v. Gabor case brief summary
151 F.3d 203 (1998)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant celebrity challenged a decision from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, awarding appellee provider of "fantasy vacation" packages $100,000 on a breach of contract claim, plus attorney fees and post judgment interest.

CASE FACTS
The lower court found that appellant celebrity had breached her contract with appellee provider of "fantasy vacation" packages and awarded appellee $ 100,000 for the breach, plus attorney fees and post-judgment interest. The contract provided for an "out clause" permitting appellant to cancel her appearance obligation by a certain date if a significant acting opportunity in a film came up.

ARGUMENT
On appeal of the judgment, appellant argued: (1) the parties did not reach a contract, (2) the jury's finding that appellant did not effectively exercise the cancellation clause was against the weight of the evidence, and (3) the jury's award of damages for breach of contract was not supported by competent evidence and was speculative.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that a binding contract existed between the parties. 
  • Substantial evidence existed to support the jury's finding that appellant did not cancel the contract because of a significant acting opportunity. 
  • But the $100,000 damages award could not be supported as the recovery of lost profits. 
  • The court reversed in part, because the evidence disclosed in the record did not support compensatory damages beyond $57,500. 
  • The court affirmed otherwise.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court affirmed the lower court's judgment as to liability, because a binding contract existed between appellant celebrity and appellee provider of "fantasy vacation" packages, which appellant breached. The court reversed the lower court's damages award, and rendered judgment for a lesser amount of damages, because the evidence supported the lesser amount.

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