Andretti v. Borla Performance Industries, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
426 F.3d 824 (2005)
Mario Andretti (plaintiff) retired from his career as a racecar driver and became a spokesman, licensing the rights to his name and likeness to corporations in the automotive industry. In November 2001, Andretti contracted with Car Sound Exhaust System, Inc. (CS) for the exclusive right of publicity for four years. In 2003, Borla Performance Industries, Inc. (Borla) (defendant), CS’s biggest competitor, began advertising using a quote Andretti had given in an interview, complimenting Borla’s product. Borla did not have Andretti’s authorization to use the quote. Andretti sued Borla in circuit court in Michigan seeking damages for infringement upon Andretti’s right of publicity, among other claims. Borla removed the complaint to federal district court and moved for summary judgment. Andretti’s answer to the motion argued that the amount of damages was a genuine issue of material fact (GIMF) because of three points. First, Andretti claimed that he submitted evidence of his damages in his responses to requests for production of documents and responses to interrogatories. In his responses to requests for production, Andretti listed numerical indicators that corresponded to the documents that he claimed were evidence of damages, but he did not submit the documents into evidence. In his answer to an interrogatory that asked Andretti to describe how Borla’s advertisement damaged Andretti’s goodwill and reputation, Andretti responded that the automotive industry was now aware of his contract with CS, but Andretti did not describe any particular injury. Second, Borla did not elicit evidence regarding Andretti’s damages when it deposed Andretti. Third, in removing the matter to federal court, Borla’s attorney submitted Andretti’s demand letter for $200,000 in support of Borla’s allegation that the matter met the $75,000 diversity-jurisdiction requirement; that declaration, Andretti claimed, was evidence that Borla’s attorney believed there was $200,000 in damages. The district court granted Borla’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Andretti did not produce evidence of damages. Andretti appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Guy, Jr., J.)
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