Bozzio v. EMI Group Ltd. et al., No. 13-15685 (9th Cir. Jan. 26, 2016).
The 9th Circuit held that the front-woman of the '80s new-wave band "Missing Persons" could sue the band's record label for breach of contract (whether proper royalty rates were paid) as a third-party beneficiary of the contract between the record label and the "loan-out" company created by the band, even though the State of California had suspended the corporation's status for failure to pay certain taxes. "The parties have not cited, and we have not found, any California case holding that a third-party beneficiary cannot sue the promisor for breach of contract when the promisee is a suspended corporation." Additionally, interpreting a related Artist Declaration, the 9th Circuit held that plaintiff did not necessary waive the benefits of the contract under the provision requiring band-members to look to the loan-out company (not the label) for the payment of royalties. Language in the Loan-Out Agreement was in tension with language in the artist declaration. Accordingly, the district court -- which had dismissed with prejudice believing that amendment would be futile -- was reversed.