There are a lot of people across the nation, including many here in California, who are woefully unaware of how the law works concerning contracts and how compensation can be sought when one party believes that another has breached it. This is primarily because most people deal with written contracts where oftentimes the terms of the contract are very clear, meaning you should know when a breach has occurred.
But what about cases in which two parties agree to verbal terms but those exact terms are not accurately relayed in the written contract? Would one of the parties to the contract have a claim in court? Many people think that because verbal contracts are difficult to prove, they are not legally binding. But this assumption is incorrect and could mean the difference between you seeking compensation or not.
Our Los Angeles readers can see this very issue exemplified by an out-of-state case involving the Puerto Rican singer Don Omar and CBS Radio, Inc. Omar filed a federal lawsuit recently claiming that CBS Radio not only breached its contract with Omar, it also used his name and image without his permission to promote a summer concert last year. He is seeking damages for the alleged infringement and breach of contract.
By looking at the case, which is outlined by the Courthouse News Service, our readers can see two issues at play. The first issue concerns the verbal terms Omar and CBS Radio agreed to that were not present in the written contract. The dispute over these terms eventually led CBS Radio to drop Omar from a 2014 summer concert program. But CBS Radio allegedly continued to promote the concert using his image and copyrighted name to "boost ticket sales and attendance," which leads to the second issue: copyright infringement.
As you can imagine, a case like this will not be easy to resolve as it does deal with both verbal and written contract terms. But just because the verbal terms might be more difficult to prove in court doesn't mean they are any less binding. In the end, it will be up to the courts to decide whether CBS Radio is guilty of breach of contract and infringement, and therefore liable for compensation.