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Old 09-03-2009, 07:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Twelve NBA players sue Topps for remainder of autograph contracts

Twelve NBA players sue Topps for remainder of autograph contracts

-From Beckett

A dozen NBA players filed lawsuits against Topps in a New York County court last week citing breach of contract seeking payment for the remainder of their autograph deals agreed to beginning in early 2008.

According to the 10-page summons and complaint obtained by Beckett Media on Wednesday, Topps notified each of the players in March that it “would no longer be honoring the agreements and would not be making any further payments to the plaintiffs for the remaining number of autographs in their respective agreements, despite prior demand by plaintiffs.”

In late-January, the NBA announced that Panini will become the sole licensee of the league’s trading cards beginning this fall with the 2009-10 season. Topps has since released just two licensed 2009-10 products before its deal expired — its ‘48 Bowman and standard Topps sets — and has said it has no plans to produce any additional (unlicensed) basketball sets.

Topps officials declined to comment on the case, however it’s reasonable to expect that the entirety of the autograph contracts were for a longer term of products — not one or two sets produced this year — given the quantities of signatures called for in the deals.

The twelve players — 11 of whom are listed as clients of the Wasserman Media Group — each signed approximately half of the previously agreed-to quantities on their autographs and are seeking “an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $298,560, exclusive of interest.”

Among the players with claims are:


– Danilo Gallinari, who claims he is owed $20,000 for the unsigned half of his deal signed on June 8, 2008, which totaled 4,000 signatures with payment of $10 per autograph.

– Brook Lopez, who claims he is owed $14,560 for 1,820 unsigned autographs that were part of his deal signed on May 8, 2008, that included 4,000 autographs at $8 apiece.

– Robin Lopez, who claims he is owed $10,000 for the unsigned half of his deal signed on May 8, 2008, that included 4,000 autographs at $5 apiece.

– D.J. Augustin, who claims he is owed $16,000 for the unsigned half of his deal signed on May 28, 2008, for 4,000 autographs with payment of $8 apiece.

– T.J. Ford, who claims he is owed $3,000 for the entire portion of his deal, which was signed on July 21, 2008. It called for 500 signatures at $6 apiece.

– Antawn Jamison, who claims he is owed $5,000 for the 500 unsigned autographs he agreed to in a deal on Nov. 4, 2008. He was to be paid $10 per autograph.

– DeAndre Jordan, who claims he is owed $6,000 for the unsigned half of his deal, which was signed on May 28, 2008, and called for 4,000 signatures with a $3 payment for each of them.

– Tracy McGrady, who claims he is owed $37,500 for the unsigned 750 autographs that were part of his 1,000-signature deal agreed to on March 31, 2008, which paid him $50 an autograph.

– Anthony Randolph, who claims he is owed $14,000 for the unsigned half of his deal, which was signed on May 8, 2008, calling for 4,000 autographs with payment of $7 apiece.

– Derrick Rose, who claims he is owed $112,500 for the 4,500 unsigned autographs agreed to in his 10,000-signature deal signed on May 1, 2008. That deal cited payment of $25 per signature.

– Brandon Roy, who claims he is owed $36,000 for the 2,000 autographs that went unsigned as part of his 5,000-autograph deal inked on Feb. 25, 2008. It called for a payment of $18 per signature.

– Russell Westbrook, who claims he is owed $24,000 for 2,000 unsigned autographs as part of his 4,000-autograph deal signed on June 8, 2008, which called for payment of $12 per signature.

Topps has until late this month to file a response.
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