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Wil-Helm Agency v. Lynn

618 S.W.2d 748 (1981)

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Wil-Helm Agency v. Lynn

Tennessee Court of Appeals

618 S.W.2d 748 (1981)

Facts

Country singer Loretta Lynn (defendant) entered into a contract with Wil-Helm Agency (Wil-Helm) (plaintiff), in which Wil-Helm was to provide representation, career advice, and employment opportunities to Lynn in exchange for fees. Years into the contract’s term, the agency representative with whom Lynn had established a successful working relationship left and was replaced by another agent, Doyle Wilburn. Wilburn regularly consumed alcohol to excess and engaged in abusive, insulting conduct. Wilburn’s drunken behavior included several embarrassing disruptions during Lynn’s concert and television appearances. Lynn consulted with an attorney, who informed the agency that the agency had breached the contract and that Lynn was no longer bound by the contract. Wil-Helm sued Lynn for unpaid fees, alleging that Lynn had breached the contract. Lynn counterclaimed for damages from what she alleged to be the agency’s breach. The chancery court found in favor of Lynn. However, the court awarded no damages, reasoning that any fees owed to Wil-Helm were canceled out by damages to Lynn, including revenue that Lynn’s distressed emotional state prevented her from earning. Though no precise figure was given. Wil-Helm appealed. The Tennessee Court of Appeals granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Matherne, J.)

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