Howard Stern might be the only guy in history to sue his employer during his employment and still manage to produce amazing content. And speaking of amazing content, I can only guess that his anger over having his lawsuit dismissed will only facilitate his coveted on-air outrage. Stern sued Sirius XM for $350 million after the two companies merged, claiming that his original contract with Sirius guaranteed him stock awards based on an increase subscriber numbers. Sirius XM argued that the XM subscribers don’t count toward the numbers, because Stern’s contract guaranteed him stock awards based only on an increase in Sirius subscribers. Stern countered that Sirius would not be in a position to merge if not for him, and if the merger made Sirius XM one company then he is owed money based on the increase in subscribers to that one company. But the Judge disagreed, saying, “While it may be true that Stern and Buchwald hoped and expected to reap the benefits from any significant growth that Sirius experienced after they entered into the agreement, that subjective expectation cannot suffice to override the clear, unambiguous language of the agreement.” Though I understand Stern’s argument, there’s a very important lesson to be learned here. If you ever join a company, make sure you contract accounts for a merger. Judges rule based on the law, not fairness.
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There’s an unwritten rule in Hollywood that you don’t sue the the big dogs, because the amount of money you’ll win from your suit won’t equal the amount of money you’ll lose from “never working in this town again.” If you’ve ever attended a private high school, then you might understand the Hollywood clicks and connections. That’s why I was shocked to read that Bret Michaels sued CBS and the Tonys for the injury that occurred during the 2009 Oscars. I imagine that the actual cause of action is negligence, because Michaels argues that he wasn’t properly instructed how to exit the stage to avoid the set falling on his head. He claims that the head injury ultimately resulted in his brain hemorrhage six month later. Though he could probably win for the head injury that occurred during the show, I doubt he’d win for the subsequent brain hemorrhage. To win, Michaels has the hefty task of proving that, if not for the set falling on his head, he would not have suffered the brain hemorrhage, which is virtually impossible. There’s no definitive way of identifying what caused the hemorrhage. This suit is therefore not worth burning Hollywood bridges. At the very least, you probably won’t see Michaels at the Tonys again, or on any CBS show. That’s a big bridge to burn. As an aside, thank goodness for this law school thing. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to properly analyze the consequences of having a Rock of Ages set fall on your head. Isn’t education wonderful? Watch Bret get flattened by the set below.
Hulk Hogan is pissed. He’s suing Cocoa Pebbles cereal for using his likeness without his permission/without paying him. If you watch the commercial, it is blantantly obvious that they ripped off his image. The commercial has a cartoon wrestler that is almost a replica of Hulk. I’m not sure if they approached him to get his consent and he turned it down (which I highly doubt) or they just thought they would get away with it. The controversy pays for itself though. I’m sure this will settle out of court and Hulk with make a pretty penny. Watch below.
In case you forgot, this case has been going on for years now. The Federal Appeals Court ruled against the estate of Anna Nicole Smith today. The court came down in favor of the estate of Pierce Marshall. Pierce Marshall was the son of J. Howard Marshall (the Texas billionaire that Anna Nicole married). When Pierce was alive, he was adamantly fighting to keep the 300 million dollars in question from going to Anna Nicole. Now, neither party is alive to see the result. This does effect Anna Nicole’s daughter though, who would have been the only heir set to inherit the money. The only upside of this is that Anna Nicole’s scumbag lawyer Howard K. Stern will not be getting any of this money either. He was working on a contingency basis for her, and he was set to get a substantial percentage of the money had she won.