March 24, 2010

Sony Loses Employment Suit Against EMI and Top Executive

Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. v. Werre, No. 601441/09 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. Mar. 19, 2010)

Sony sued a top EMI executive for alleged breach of contract, and EMI for tortious interference with that contract. The Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. (CPLR 3211(a)(7)). The Court found that the letter agreement at issue was not a binding, enforceable contract because a contingency, namely the executive's availability for employment on April 1, 2010, did not occur. Nor did the "prevention doctrine" apply because there was not binding contract in effect that contained the condition precedent in question; the contract was not binding on the parties until the condition precedent occurred such that the prevention doctrine did not apply. Similarly, since there was no valid contract, the tortious interference claim against EMI failed. Lastly, the fraud and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing claims against the executive were dismissed as duplicative of the (failed) breach of contract claim.

Sony v Werre (NYS)