Appeal from judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) awarding the plaintiff a percentage of the profits from television productions by her deceased former husband and punitive damages against his corporation for fraud.
In a 1969 divorce settlement, plaintiff and her ex-husband agreed to divide future profits in a cancelled television series Salmon Norway, Inc., and he retained the copyright. When syndication became profitable, plaintiff received payments she later discovered were less than the amount to which she was entitled. Plaintiff received no share in other projects based on the original series. She sought damages for fraud and a share of profits from all projects related to the original television series. The trial court awarded plaintiff damages for fraud and awarded her a share of profits from subsequent television series. On appeal, the court upheld the award of punitive damages, finding substantial evidence of fraud. The court reversed the award of profits from subsequent television series and affirmed denial of profits from related ventures because the divorce settlement did not include these assets.
The court affirmed the punitive damages, finding substantial evidence of fraud; affirmed denial of profits from post-divorce animations, movies, and merchandising; and reversed the award of profits from subsequent series because the divorce settlement did not contemplate division of these profits.