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Lawyer: ‘Happy Days’ suit prompted checks to cast
LOS ANGELES (AP) - “Happy Days” cast members who filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against CBS over merchandise profits have received checks for a small fraction of the amount they say they are owed, their lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Jon Pfeiffer said the checks received after the case started were between $6,000 and $6,500 for each of the cast members and the wife of the late actor Tom Bosley.
The actors, who include Bosley’s on-screen wife Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Don Most, and Erin Moran, sued CBS Studios in April seeking more than $10 million in profits for “Happy Days”-themed merchandise. The items marketed with the actors’ likenesses include T-shirts, board games and even gambling machines.
CBS declined to comment Wednesday, but said in an earlier statement that it was aware of the issue and was seeking a resolution. “We agree that funds are owed to the actors and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue,” it said in April.
Pfeiffer said that when the payments were sent recently, the studio “claimed that is the full payment for all that was owed.”
The series originally aired on ABC and was produced by Paramount Pictures, which has since transferred the show’s rights and the cast’s merchandising agreements to CBS.
Two prominent members of the 1974 to 1984 sitcom, Henry Winkler and Ron Howard, are not involved in the lawsuit.
Pfeiffer said he learned after filing the case that Winkler had been paid for merchandise rights, but he did not know how much.
His comments came after a judge ruled that the actors suing CBS could not pursue fraud claims against the studio without amending their lawsuit to provide further details. Pfeiffer said he would do that within a month, and the new complaint would have additional information he has learned since filing the initial lawsuit.
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