Michael Keaton Merrily Beats Contract Breach Claim

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Aug. 28 — Michael Keaton will be merry indeed, having beaten a breach of contract claim brought by the production company that made the 2009 film The Merry Gentleman.

Keaton starred in and directed the film. Though it earned some critical praise, it was a commercial failure.

Merry Gentleman LLC sought to recover the $5.5 million it spent to make the picture from Keaton, arguing that his tardy editing of the picture and failure to promote it caused it to flop.

Even assuming Keaton had breached the contract, however, “these alleged breaches did not render his performance completely worthless,” Judge David F. Hamilton wrote in his Aug. 25 opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Merry Gentleman, therefore, could not recover the entire production cost as reliance damages, because to do so would “put it in a better position than if the contract had not been made,” the court said.

Full text at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Merry_Gentleman_LLC_v_George__Leona_Prods_Inc_No_151195_2015_BL_2.