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Entertainment and Sports Law Litigation

Fresh Filings

Notable recent court filings in entertainment law.


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Netflix, Gloria Sanchez Productions and Woman in the House S1 have been sued for negligence and breach of contract in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The suit, brought by Denenberg Tuffley PLLC on behalf of Lexington Insurance, seeks over $170,000 in subrogation claims based on the defendants’ alleged damage to a mobile elevating work platform during a production. The case is Lexington Insurance Co. v. Netflix Inc., 24NNCV00405. Music producer and songwriter Darryl Payne has sued Essential Media Group, Orchard Enterprises and other defendants for copyright infringement in Florida Southern District Federal Court. The suit, filed by Beusse Sanks PLLC, accuses the defendants of exploiting the plaintiff’s 1983 song “It’s Alright” by without permission making it downloadable on YouTube. The complaint alleges that, while the plaintiff did license certain music to the defendants, “It’s Alright” was not listed in the licensing agreement. The case is Payne v. Essential Media Group LLC, 1:24-cv-21119. Bend Oil LLC, owned by members of the American rock band Blondie, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods. The suit, filed by TME Law P.C., pursues claims against unidentified e-commerce operators. The case is Bend Oil LLC v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified On Schedule A, 1:24-cv-02438. … Miller Nash filed a business tort lawsuit in Oregon Circuit Court, Multnomah County, targeting the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The court case was filed on behalf of DeSport d/b/a Prospex, a platform offering collectible digital trading cards of athletes’ names and likenesses. The suit accuses the defendant of intentionally undermining Prospex’s potential partnerships with prospective and current student athletes by organizing a boycott against the plaintiff, disparaging its business and threatening athletes and member institutions. The case is DeSport LLC vs National Collegiate Athletic Association, 24CV13734. Matthew Rosen and Blair Jesse Reich were hit with a securities lawsuit in Pennsylvania Eastern District Federal Court in connection with the selling of shares owned in the digital trading card game maker Steem Monsters. The court case, filed by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney on behalf of BFF II PTE and Side Door Ventures, accuses the defendants of misrepresenting the company’s financial value by citing statistics of the game’s popularity that were overstated because it included “bots,” rather than just real people. The case is BFF II PTE. Ltd. v. Rosen, 2:24-cv-01228. American rapper and actor Shad Gregory Moss, professionally known as “Bow Wow,” was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit in Georgia Northern District Federal Court. The court action, brought by Christopher J. Chan IP Law on behalf of Mauldin Brand, accuses the defendant of using a mark identical to the plaintiff’s “Scream Tour” mark on his social media accounts without authorization. The case is Mauldin Brand Inc. v. Moss, 1:24-cv-01227. … Pryor Cashman filed a defamation lawsuit in Florida Circuit Court, Miami-Dade County, against the uncle of musical artist Chiquis. The lawsuit brought on behalf of Chiquis contends that producer and TV personality Juan Rivera Saavedra has engaged in a “smear campaign” against the artist, claiming falsely that he was involved with the creation of “Abeja Reina,” the title track from her fourth album, and denied credit or payment. The case is Marin v. Saavedra, 2024-004850-CA-01. Digital entertainment company EnchantedMob filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Federal Court over the alleged sale of counterfeit goods associated with characters from the video game Poppy Playtime. The suit, filed by Greer, Burns & Crain, pursues claims against unidentified e-commerce operators. The case is EnchantedMob Inc. v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A, 1:24-cv-02283. Actor and producer Edward Norton, Chubb’s Federal Insurance, insurance agent Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Class 5 Films and other defendants were named in an insurance coverage lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, New York County, in connection with an agreement to film the movie Motherless Brooklyn at a New York City location. The suit was filed by attorney Geovanny Fernandez on behalf of property owner Vincent Sollazzo Lampkin, who contends that combustible material used during filming caused a fire to break out in the building, which afterward had to be demolished by the city. The plaintiff contends that he has been denied indemnification for litigation filed against him over the damages. The case is Lampkin v. Class 5 Inc. Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Co. were slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York Southern Federal District Court in connection with the marketing and advertising of Marvel project Werewolf by Night. The court case, brought by Doniger / Burroughs on behalf of Darius Alas, a two-dimensional digital graphic artist and designer, accuses the defendants of copying and reproducing Alas’ artwork of a werewolf without authorization or permission. The case is Alas v. The Walt Disney Co., 1:24-cv-02070. Musical artist Snoop Dogg has been sued for copyright infringement in California Central District Federal Court. The suit, brought by Doniger / Burroughs on behalf of animator Bradford Perry, accuses the defendant of posting the plaintiff’s TikTok video depicting how many animals that humans eat annually on the defendant’s Instagram page. The case is Perry v. Broadus, 2:24-cv-02212. Je’Caryous Johnson Entertainment, Je’Caryous Johnson and Origin Bank were sued for breach of contract and fraud in Texas District Court, Harris County, over a profit-sharing agreement. The lawsuit was filed by Benoit Law on behalf of 360 Advertising and its sole member Darryl Austin, who claims that the defendants blocked him from setting prices for an Erykah Badu concert and establishing marketing buys for other shows, contrary to the agreement. The lawsuit also contends that Origin refuses to return over $400,000 after adding Johnson as a signatory to a bank account without permission. The case is Austin v. Origin Bank. Author Daniel Handler a/k/a Lemony Snicket, author of the book series A Series of Unfortunate Events, was sued by Mills Entertainment for breach of contract in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by Pryor Cashman, pertains to the parties’ development of a stage adaptation of the series. According to the complaint, Handler failed to deliver satisfactory treatments for a live show and stalled development in order to work with another producer after an exclusive option period expired. The case is Mills Entertainment LLC v. Handler. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been hit with an antitrust class action in North Carolina Middle District Federal Court. The complaint takes aim at the NCAA’s bylaws restricting student athletes from accepting monetary prizes. The suit, filed by Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman and Miller, Monroe & Plyler, seeks a declaration that the restrictions are anticompetitive. The case is Brantmeier v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 1:24-cv-00238. Filmmaker Jessica Vale Gerlach, creator of the documentary film Small Small Thing: The Olivia Zinnah Story, filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against TOFG LLC d/b/a 1091 in New York Supreme Court, New York County. The suit, brought by the Law Office of Adam Kotok, is part of a string of cases accusing the defendant of failing to remit royalties and other payments under film distribution agreements. The case is Jessica Vale Films LLC v. TOFG LLC. Blank Rome filed a trade secrets lawsuit in California Central District Federal Court on behalf of Xsolla (USA), a video-games billing and distribution platform. The suit pursues claims against former Xsolla executives who allegedly misappropriated confidential and trade secret information for the benefit and creation of direct competitor Aghanim. The case is Xsolla (USA) Inc. v. Aghanim Inc., 2:24-cv-02116. Lorenzo Samuels has been sued for trademark infringement in Maryland District Federal Court. The court action, brought by Cahn & Samuels on behalf of Steven Jackson, co-founder of the band The Softones, accuses the defendant of performing using the plaintiff’s “The Softones” mark without authorization. The case is Jackson v. Samuels, 1:24-cv-00741. Activision Blizzard, the publisher of video games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, Microsoft and other defendants were hit with a product liability lawsuit in Missouri Western District Federal Court. The court case, brought by Hausfeld, Wagstaff & Cartmell and Bullock Ward Mason on behalf of Harper Glasscock, seeks claims for the addictive quality that video games have on those that play them because the games allegedly were designed to encourage continuous play. The case is Glasscock v. Activision Blizzard Inc., 2:24-cv-04036. United Talent Agency (UTA) and MediaLink have sued Michael Kassan Inc. and Michael E. Kassan, UTA partner and the founder and CEO of MediaLink, in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. The lawsuit, brought by Freedman Taitelman + Cooley LLP, accuses Kassan of wasting millions of UTA’s dollars on his lavish personal lifestyle. According to the suit, Kassan also used UTA funds to pay for his personal driver’s apartment, his personal expenses, his wife’s personal expenses and his $500,000 in credit card debt. Additionally, the plaintiffs argue that Kassan fostered a toxic culture at MediaLink, which was acquired by UTA in 2021, in which employees were discouraged from disclosing certain matters to UTA. According to the complaint, Kassan was terminated for “cause” on March 7, 2024. The case is United Talent Agency LLC v. Kassan, 24STCV06178. Jason Cloth — who produced Joker, the latest Mission Impossible and other films — Catalyst Wealth Management and other defendants were hit with a securities class action in Illinois Circuit Court, Cook County, for allegedly defrauding thousands of investors of $30 million in a Ponzi scheme. The court action, brought by Loftus & Eisenberg, accuses the defendants of engaging in a fraudulent scheme in which investors were led to believe that they were funding the production of the movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the television series Shadowplay and other productions. The case is Fowler v. Cloth, 2024CH01610. … Ropers Majeski filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in California Northern District Federal Court seeking over $1 million on behalf of France-headquartered game developer Microids S.A. The partially redacted complaint pursues claims against Maximum Games in connection with a distribution agreement. The case is Microids SA v. Maximum Games LLC, 3:24-cv-01362. Members of the hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas, rapper Daddy Yankee, producer Yonatan Goldstein and Sony Music Entertainment have been sued for copyright infringement and breach-of-contract in California Central District Federal Court over the Black Eyed Peas song “Bailar Contigo.” The court action, brought by Kibler Fowler & Cave on behalf of Iceberg Records, arises over a licensing agreement to sample the song “Scatman (ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop)” by Scatman John. The complaint accuses the defendants of breaching the agreement by using the original song’s master recording, rather than just the composition, to create “Bailar Contigo.” The case is Iceberg Records A/S v. Adams Jr., 2:24-cv-01893.

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