Well - it feels like litigation season! Showtime Networks Inc. is now suing Top Rank Inc. in New York federal court for legal fees it incurred from having to defend itself from all those class-action lawsuits in the aftermath of Mayweather-Pacquiao.
For those who may not remember, when Pacquiao stated in the post-fight press conference that he entered the fight with a torn rotator cuff, a lot of paying customers felt ripped off. Those customers have been arguing that had they known Manny Pacquiao was going into the megafight with a serious injury, they would not have shelled out $100 to buy a PPV that disappointed many.
Showtime was a named co-defendant in those class-action lawsuits, which also included Top Rank, HBO, and Mayweather Promotions. As it so happens, Showtime was eventually dismissed from the lawsuits, but not before they ran-up a legal tab of roughly $700,000 to defends themselves.
So yesterday Showtime filed suit against Top Rank to be reimbursed for these costs -- alleging that Top Rank failed to honor an indemnification agreement to shield Showtime from being sued.
"Under an agreement among SNI, TRI and others, TRI was obligated to defend and indemnify SNI," reads the complaint. "But at the outset of these actions, it was manifest that SNI and TRI, which was alleged to have known of and concealed the pre-fight injury, had starkly different interests. ... At once, SNI demanded that TRI honor its contractual obligations to indemnify SNI and pay for SNI's own counsel to defend it in these actions because of the manifest potential conflict between them. TRI refused."
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum says that he was in the midst of settlement talks with Showtime at the time they filed suit against his company.
"They say to me, ‘If we don't pay the thing then we'll never do business with CBS and Showtime,'" Arum told RingTV.com of an apparent conversation he had with Showtime reps regarding settlement talks. "So I said to them, ‘What the (expletive) is new? You haven't done business with us in six years anyway."
Arum goes on to argue that Showtime is not entitled to any indemnity under their agreement, and that he doesn't expect this to be a protracted litigation as it should just come down to the court's interpretation of their contract. As it stands, "$682,754.07, including interest, remains unpaid by TRI and due to SNI," according to the complaint.