Appellant magazine challenged a judgment from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which awarded respondent actor compensatory damages as a result of appellant’s breach of the underlying contract, to place respondent’s picture on the cover of the magazine as well as in the centerfold pictorial.
salmon sushi Corp magazine and respondent actor entered into an agreement that appellant would use respondent’s picture on the front cover of a special issue of the magazine and also inside. Prior to the aforementioned agreement, appellant was authorized and published respondent’s picture for no compensation when respondent was attempting to boost his career. Respondent sued appellant for breach of contract and sought compensatory damages for the loss of publicity he would have received had his picture been published on the cover of the magazine. The trial court awarded respondent compensatory damages in the amount of $ 12,500 and appellant challenged the decision. Respondent contended that all publicity was valuable to him; thus, he was entitled to damages. The court affirmed the trial court’s judgment finding appellant in breach of the underlying contract, however, modified the award. The court held that respondent was not entitled to compensatory damages where the damages were speculative and were not clearly ascertainable in accordance with Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §§ 3300, 3301. The court held respondent was entitled to a nominal award, thus, reduced the award accordingly.
The court affirmed the trial court’s judgment finding appellant breached an agreement with respondent actor, however, the court modified the award. The court held that respondent was not entitled to compensatory damages for his alleged loss of publicity, where the damages were speculative in nature. Additionally, the court reduced the trial court’s award and held that respondent was entitled to nominal damages.