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Settlement reached in television lawsuit

California television fans may have heard that Fox and Leftfield Pictures have reached a settlement of the lawsuit Leftfield Pictures filed against the network. The suit was filed in New York in July 2015 and sought $4.5 million.

According to sources, the lawsuit came after a deal for Leftfield Pictures to provide 26 episodes of a reality television series to Fox Business Network involving estate sales managers fo fell through. After agreeing to the deal, Fox Business Network reportedly withdrew from the agreement after three months. Leftfield Pictures complained that the series was already in production at the time the network backed out.

Fox Business Network had argued that Leftfield Pictures violated the contract by not disclosing some of the participants' true natures. The network also claimed that Leftfield failed to be completely factual and that the contract called for the series to be more news-oriented, since it was to air on a news network rather than an entertainment one. In the settlement, neither side admitted fault, and the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

It is not uncommon for disputes to arise under business contracts. When the contract breach is a minor one, it is often possible to negotiate an agreement without the need to file a lawsuit. When an alleged breach is one that is so severe that it destroys the heart of the contract, rendering performance impossible, then a lawsuit may be necessary. In this case, the network's backing out of the contract completely would likely constitute a major breach under contract law. Attorneys for the parties in this type of a matter are often able to avoid prolonged litigation by successfully negotiating a settlement.

Source: Deadline, "Fox Business Network & Leftfield settle lawsuit over scrapped reality series," Dominic Patten, May 4, 2016.

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