February 11, 2008

Punitive Damages in Mordor?

The estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien has sued New Line Cinema for more than $150 million in compensatory damages for the alleged failure to pay the estate contractual royalties from the three Lord of the Rings movies. The lawsuit apparently also seeks punitive damages. However, whether the Tolkien estate can claim punitive damages for New Line's alleged breach of the contract may well be determined by the City of Hope case recently argued in the California Supreme Court.