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Quick Dismissal Achieved in $3.5 Million Lease Dispute Over Soap Opera Set

Case Study

Quick Dismissal Achieved in $3.5 Million Lease Dispute Over Soap Opera Set

July 6, 2011

After the cancellation last year of one of the most popular soap operas of all time, longtime fans of the multiple-Daytime-Emmy-Award-winning show weren’t the only ones left wanting more. The owner of the studio space where the show was taped filed a $3.5 million lawsuit against the show’s production company, claiming breach of contract and alleging that the lease for the studio space was improperly terminated. The quick dismissal of the suit achieved by Christopher J. Belter and Daniel B. Moar of our Business and Commercial Practice Group highlights Goldberg Segalla’s capabilities to resolve potentially disruptive disputes in a highly efficient manner.

The plaintiff had claimed that the production company did not provide proper notice regarding termination of the lease after it learned from the network that the show would be cancelled, and it asked the court to order our client to pay a holdover penalty of over $3.1 million plus interest and incidental and consequential damages. Chris and Dan demonstrated to the court that the studio’s lawsuit was without merit because it ignored a contract provision applicable to termination of the lease and distorted an inapplicable contract provision in its attempt to collect the damages.

The court agreed and on July 6, 2011, granted our pre-answer motion to dismiss the claim, ending the lawsuit at the earliest possible stage and allowing our client to remain focused on producing TV entertainment — without the unwanted business drama of prolonged litigation.