California Court of Appeal

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Wolf v. Walt Disney Pictures and Television, B192656

In a breach of contract action involving Disney's alleged failure to fully compensate for its exploitation of the cartoon characters depicted in plaintiff's novel "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?", judgment for plaintiff including the amount of damages awarded is reversed in part and remanded where: 1) the trial court erroneously allowed the jury to interpret the term "purchaser" in a 1983 agreement when the meaning of that term was not dependent on the credibility of conflicting extrinsic evidence, and thus there was no factual issue for the jury to resolve; and 2) because plaintiff's royalty payments under the agreement did not include any entitlement to the gross receipt of Disney's subsidiaries, the trial court's award of that amount was erroneous.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 05/09/2008
  • Published 05/09/2008

Judges

  • PERLUSS, P.J.

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel

  • For Appellant:
  • Rintala, Smoot, Jaenicke & Rees, Peter C. Smoot, J. Larson Jaenicke and Michael B. Garfinkel, Los Angeles, for Plaintiffs and Appellants Gary K. Wolf and Cry Wolf!, Inc.

  • For Appellees:
  • Shepphard Mullin Richter & Hampton, Martin D. Katz and Lisa N. Stutz, Los Angeles, for Defendant and Appellant Walt Disney Pictures and Television and Disney Enterprises, Inc.
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