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Directors Guild of America v. Millennium Television Network

2001 WL 1744609 (2001)

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Directors Guild of America v. Millennium Television Network

United States District Court for the Central District of California

2001 WL 1744609 (2001)

Facts

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) (plaintiff) was the labor union for directors in the film industry. Millennium Television Network (Millennium) (defendant) retained directors represented by DGA to direct a planned live broadcast. Millennium was required to obtain a performance and payment bond in order to receive financial backing for its broadcast. Thus, Millennium executed a bond with Frontier Insurance Company (Frontier) (defendant) and NAC Reinsurance Corporation (NAC) (defendant) in the amount of $10 million for the repayment of any work or labor done in relation to the broadcast. Ultimately, the broadcast was canceled a week before it was set to air. Pursuant to DGA and Millennium’s contract, the issue of payment to the directors went to arbitration. Millennium failed to appear, and the arbitrator awarded DGA’s directors a sum. Millennium failed to pay the sum and, consequently, DGA made a written demand for the amount to Frontier and NAC. Frontier and NAC refused to pay because they claimed the directors did not perform any work or labor for the broadcast. DGA filed suit in federal court. The court entered a default judgment against Millennium. DGA moved for summary judgment, arguing that its directors were entitled to compensation because they refrained from obtaining other employment during the period of the contract with Millennium. Frontier and NAC argued that some directors did not mitigate their damages by attempting to seek alternative employment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Matz, J.)

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