JURY FINDS FOR ROSEANNE IN LICENSING PACT DISPUTE
LOS ANGELES — After four hours of deliberation Friday, the jury ruled in favor of TV star Roseanne and her ex-husband, Tom Arnold, in their breach of contract suit against New York apparel manufacturer Stanley Warner, owner of CelebSales Inc.
Warner must pay Arnold Fashions Ltd. — the company created by the couple — $750,000. He may also be required to pay interest and attorney’s fees, according to David Cordrey, one of the attorneys on the Roseanne team.
“It was always our position that this was a simple case,” said Cordrey. “Although we felt that [Warner and his associates] did other things wrong, we felt that at a bare minimum we would be successful.” He added they would have made a stronger effort to settle the case if they thought their clients might lose.
Warner’s attorneys could not be reached for comment.
The dispute centered on a licensing pact between Warner and the couple that called for him to pay Roseanne and Arnold $1 million in royalties that would have come from a large-size apparel line bearing her name. Warner made the first $250,000 payment but refused to make a second one because of what he called adverse publicity and a lack of cooperation. Roseanne and Arnold charged Warner with breach of contract and he, in turn, filed a countersuit asking for $24 million plus punitive damages.
Federal Judge Harry L. Hupp dealt Warner’s side a blow on Thursday when he tossed out a number of charges and countercharges.
He told the jury to focus only on the issue of whether Warner’s refusal to remit the second payment of $250,000 was justified because Arnold Fashion breached the contract by refusing to approve Warner’s 1994 proposal to sell the line on television.