Kentucky (especially Louisville) has its fair share of business lawsuits and contract disputes. And because our lawyers handle high-end business disputes, I’m always on the look-out for interesting business lawsuits and breach of contract cases. But even I was shocked at radio shock-jock Howard Stern’s recent case. Recently, Stern and his production company, One Twelve, Inc., had a $330 million dollar lawsuit against his employer, Sirius XM Radio, thrown out of court.
Stern and One Twelve’s lawsuit argued Sirius Radio cheated Stern on his contract. Basically, Stern’s signed a contract several years ago with Sirius Radio that paid him bonuses based on the number of Sirius Radio customers.
Sirius Radio merged with its competitor, XM Radio, in 2008. While Sirius XM is now one corporation, the two retained separate customer lists.
Sirius XM won the case because when Stern left broadcast radio for Sirius in 2005, his contract stated that he would only be paid performance awards based on the number of Sirius customers.
Had Stern won his case, he would have been able to collect the performance award based on both customer lists, which could have added up to nearly $330 million. That is on top of the $500 million Stern and One Twelve have already collected in their current 5-year deal—apparently Stern thinks half a billion dollars is not enough money to entertain people by using potty words on the radio.
As an aside, I wonder what it's like to still work for the company you sued for $300 million dollars?!