By Peter Colin, Jr.
If you represent an entertainer or other public figure with a marketable likeness or their family/heirs, you should start including posthumous personality rights in your estate planning.
Most recently, this issue arose has after the 2016 passing of Prince in Minnesota. Soon after his death, Prince merchandise that appeared to be unlicensed was readily available for purchase. The Minnesota State Legislature reacted with the PRINCE Act, though the Legislature retracted the bill after it received criticism for entrenching on the First Amendment and exerting overbroad control of publicity rights that would really benefit professional sports entities looking for more control over publicity rights of athletes. Read More
By Scheagbe Mayumi Grigsby
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico burst into flames, dumping millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. The incident killed eleven people and caused irreparable harm to the environment and local economy. Eventually, hundreds of plaintiffs filed suit against British Petroleum (BP) and others. A subsequent class action lawsuit resulted in a settlement of medical claims arising out of the spill and the ensuing clean-up effort amounted to approximately $7.8 billion. As of May 6, 2015, BP had paid approximately $5 billion to more than 62,000 businesses and individuals. On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that BP had agreed to pay the “largest environmental fine in U.S. history for the Gulf oil spill.” Pending judicial approval, BP has agreed to pay $18.7 billion to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida over 18 years. Read More
By Jonathan Herrick
Health care in the United States is a complex and expensive industry, and consumers who contribute financially to the industry presumably hope to derive some value or benefit from their participation. However, many consumers may not perceive a proportionate relationship between financial contribution and the value or benefit they receive. For example, “[m]ost Americans do not believe that price and quality of health care are associated” with each other. It is no wonder that Americans today have doubts about whether the amount they spend on health care is associated with the quality of care they receive; despite spending a larger portion per capita on health care services than many other industrialized nations, the United States lags behind in important measures, such as life expectancy. Although the relationship between health care services and life expectancy is complex, it is clear that the United States is spending more per person on health care than many other countries, but consumers are not benefitting proportionately with regard to certain measured health outcomes. Read More