Lawsuit against CBS filed by ‘Happy Days’ cast members

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

According to On the Red Carpet, an entertainment news website, CBS Network is being sued by “Happy Days” cast members. They are suing for the money they should have been given from the sale of merchandise based around the hit television show of the 1970s.

Four cast members, Anson Williams, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, and Don Most, are suing CBS over a contract dispute and for breach of contract. “Happy Days” merchandise that depicted the images of cast members was sold to thousands of consumers in the form of DVD covers, dolls, and slot machines. This merchandise is still being sold today and, according to the lawsuit, the cast has not been paid royalties from the sales.

The late actor Tom Bosley’s estate is also represented in the suit. Ross, an actress from the “Happy Days” cast, reports that somebody approached her and said that she must be getting lots of money from the casinos. She had no idea what he was talking about, Ross says.

The actors’ contracts state that they are supposed to earn 5 percent of the net profits from merchandise if their image is the only one on the product. They are supposed to receive 2.5 percent of the profits from merchandise with a group image on it. CBS has retained the right to deduct a 50 percent “handling fee” off the top. CBS maintains that they owe the actors about $9,000 each for merchandise sold in the last four years. CBS added that they have been working with the actors to resolve the royalty pay issues for some time.

Source: “‘Happy Days’ cast members file a lawsuit against CBS” Roz Zurko, June 26, 2011