Artists Rights Enforcement Corp. v. Haskins, No. 105227/04, 2008 NY Slip Op 33357(U), 1/2/09 N.Y.L.J. "Decision of Interest" (N.Y. Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., Dec. 16, 2008)
Plaintiff corporation specializes in assisting artists, songwriters and music publishers with the recovery of royalties and other fees due from their artistic material and/or performances. Plaintiff now asserts causes of action for breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relations and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage against the heir of John Kendricks, a singer and composer, whose work includes "The Twist." The action is based on a 1984 agreement between plaintiff and the singer/composer. For many years, until the mid-1980s, the singer/composer was not receiving royalties. In an effort to collect the royalties, he entered into a written letter agreement with plaintiff in 1984. It was undisputed that the singer/composer signed the 1984 agreement, under which plaintiff was entitled to receive 50% of all amounts realized as a "proximate result" of plaintiff's activities in recovering royalties due to the singer/composer. The court denied plaintiff's summary judgment motion.