'Happy Days' cast settles merchandise lawsuit against CBS
Surely the Fonz is giving the thumbs-up and a hearty "Ayyyy" right now. Cast members of "Happy Days" have settled a lawsuit against CBS over merchandise inspired by the sitcom, which ran from 1974 to 1984.
"Happy Days" actors Marion Ross, Don Most, Anson Williams and Erin Moran, along with the estate of Tom Bosley -- who played patriarch Howard Cunningham, and died in Oct. 2010 -- filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in April 2011.
The actors claimed that they had been stiffed on compensation for merchandise including comic books, T-shirts, scrapbooks, trading cards, games, lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, magnets, greeting cards and DVD covers. They said they began wondering why they weren't being paid more when their faces appeared on slot machines.
"The case has been settled," CBS told TheWrap in a statement. "All contractual obligations will be honored, as we had promised from the beginning. We appreciate the Court's earlier dismissal of the far-reaching claims, which paved the way for an ordinary settlement based on contractual issues."
The cast members initially sought $10 million. However, in October, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White handed the actors a setback when she struck down the fraud portion of the suit, disallowing the punitive damages that they had sought. A source familiar with the settlement told TheWrap that the cast members will receive $60,000 to $65,000 each in the settlement.
Jon Pfeiffer, the attorney for the "Happy Days" cast members, told TheWrap, "we are satisfied with the outcome. We will continue to receive all of the merchandising royalties promised to us in our contracts."
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