Showtime sues Top Rank for Pacquiao lawsuits
May 29, 2016
Showtime Networks, Inc. has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of New York against Top Rank, Inc. citing indemnification and breach of contract related to lawsuits filed by third parties against Showtime and Top Rank stemming from Manny Pacquiao’s claim that he fought with an injury against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
The lawsuits, filed by individuals who purchased the PPV claimed that Pacquiao was not ready to participate in the fight because of an injury in early April 2015 and it was not disclosed. Most of the lawsuits point to the Pre-Fight Medical Questionnaire provided by Pacquiao which seemingly misrepresented the injury by not disclosing it.
Under the terms of an agreement between Showtime and Top Rank, Top Rank was to defend and indemnify Showtime from any liability (i.e., lawsuits) and supply Showtime with its own legal counsel. Showtime’s attorneys point out that a potential conflict occurred when Pacquiao did not notify officials of a shoulder injury prior to the Mayweather fight. According to the lawsuit, Showtime demanded that Top Rank pay for Showtime’s legal representations once these lawsuits were filed due to the potential conflict. Top Rank claimed that the terms of the agreement which would trigger Top Rank to defend and indemnify Showtime would be an instance of actual conflict between the parties. Per the lawsuit, Showtime claims that Top Rank did not believe that there was a conflict.
The relevant indemnification language of the Showtime/Top Rank contract is below:
— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) May 26, 2016
Showtime also claims that Top Rank threatened to assert its own indemnity claims against Showtime. Top Rank claimed that Showtime promotional materials for the fight were relevant in relation to claims of breach of contract filed by plaintiffs. Thus, Top Rank requested the same defend and indemnification that Showtime had been of Top Rank.
Despite the refusal to pay for its attorneys, Showtime defended the lawsuits it was named in. The legal fees through May 12, per the lawsuit is $682,754.06 plus interest. Showtime seeks to recoup this plus fees and costs of the lawsuit in this action.
It’s clear that this was bound to happen. Once Pacquiao claimed the injury post-fight, the lawsuits started to pour in from plaintiffs’ attorneys and they were going to name any and all entities in its complaints. The lawsuit presents the question of what is a conflict and what is not and when the right to indemnify and defend took place. Showtime claims that the unreported injury should have triggered the indemnification in the contract while Top Rank will likely deny this citing no conflict at the time.
We will keep you updated.